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Earth’s Changing Surface

Grades 3 - 5

Landforms around the world provide a dramatic backdrop for examining how weathering, erosion, and deposition shape Earth's surface features. Guide students through an exciting exploration of forces shaping Earth's surface wrapped up in 5E lesson plans where students investigate through active learning, then apply their new knowledge to find out how we can limit the effect of such processes on people and the environment.

Leveled Readers are available in four Lexile Measures, distinguished by a color key on the back of each reader.

Lexile Levels
Lexile Measure Range 900-1050
Lexile Measure Range 750-900
Lexile Measure Range 600-750
Lexile Measure Range 450-600

Driving Question

How can people limit damage caused by flooding and fast-moving water?

Anchor Phenomenon

Weathering, erosion, and deposition change Earth's surface.

  Investigative Phenomena
–Focus Questions
Real-World Phenomena
Lesson 1
Exploring Maps
Focus Question What kinds of details can maps show? Real-World Phenomena
  • Topographic, physical, and road and trail maps
Lesson 2
Focus Question How does weathering change Earth's surface? Real-World Phenomena
  • Physical and chemical changes to rocks and minerals
Lesson 3
Focus Question How does erosion change Earth's surface? Real-World Phenomena
  • Erosion by moving air, ice, gravity, and water
Lesson 4
Focus Question How does deposition change Earth's surface? Real-World Phenomena
  • Sediments of different sizes settle out of water differently
Lesson 5
Rivers and Wind
Focus Question How can water and wind shape Earth's surface? Real-World Phenomena
  • Erosion and deposition by a model river and wind
Lesson 6
Focus Question How can groundwater change the land? Real-World Phenomena
  • Sinkholes, caverns, stalactites, and stalagmites
Lesson 7
Focus Question How can ocean waves change the land? Real-World Phenomena
  • Coastline changes due to waves
Lesson 8
Focus Question How do glaciers change Earth's surface? Real-World Phenomena
  • Surficial changes caused by glaciers and landforms created by weathering, erosion, and deposition
Lesson 9
The Effects of Plants
Focus Question How do plants affect changes to Earth's surface? Real-World Phenomena
  • Effects of plants on soil
Lesson 10
Sediment Control Measures
Focus Question How can people limit hazards associated with weathering, erosion, and deposition? Real-World Phenomena
  • Hazards of flooding a playground