Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Sallie Everett


This lesson is to help students learn the differences between chemical and physical weathering and learn the effects of climate on the weathering process.


The student knows chemical and physical changes that occur in nature.


-Lava rocks (2)
-Writing paper
-Bulletin Board Paper
-Staples/staple gun
-Text: SCIENCE VOYAGES. Authors: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill or visit website, chapter 10.
-Overhead transparencies (visual aids from teacher's resource manual)
-Overhead Projector
-CD Rom (supplied with text book) Glencoe, McGraw-Hill


1. Select overheads associated with lesson from the teacher's resource manual, chapter 10.
2. Have two lava rocks displayed in front of class on table.
3. Read text associated with lesson.
4. Obtain permissionsfor tour of school grounds (field trip).
5. Prepare rubric for grading of performance evaluation and formative evaluation.


Session 1: Here Today; Gone Tomorrow

Lava rocks are presented to the class the day before lesson is taught. Tell students that you will run water on one rock for 1 hour. (The water will erode or wear away part of the lava rock.) The reason I use water is because water is a common factor in both mechanical and chemical weathering.)

1. Ask students to look at the two lava rocks in front of the class. (They may examine them by passing them from one to the other).

2. After rocks are back to the front of the class, explain to the students that these are the same two lava rocks which they saw yesterday.

3. Ask students to tell you what they think happened to the rock.

4. Listen to responses.

5. Explain that they will find out in this lesson. Tell them: We will learn about weathering. We will learn the difference between chemical and
mechanical weathering.

6. We will also learn about climate and its effect on weathering. (Access prior knowledge of -weathering- and -climate- by asking questions about their meanings.)

7. Ask students: what is weathering? (accessing prior knowledge: to retrieve what students know or think they know about the subject prior to instructions. This allows teacher to clarify and clear up any misconceptions on the subject before getting started. There is not a certain amount of knowledge that students should have)

8. Ask students: what is climate? (prior knowledge)

9. Have students to open their books to the correct page and locate weathering and climate within the text. Call on specific students to share the meanings from the text from the content. (not the glossary)

10. Start the “shared reading” process with all students involved. (Shared reading is when the teacher and students read a paragraph at a time, taking turns, until the material is read in its entirety) The teacher starts out reading aloud, read a paragraph, then call on individual students to read a paragraph until the reading selection is read in its entirety. This is call -shared reading.-)

11. Discuss what was read.

12. Ask students: What is weathering? What is climate?

Session 2:
1.Review lesson from previous day.

2. Ask students to identify the types of weathering from the overhead transparencies. (Teacher's resource manual developed with the text: Chemical and mechanical weathering)

3. Tell students that today they are going to use the selected magazines for finding pictures of weathering.

4. They will find a picture depicting each type of weathering that was discussed (mechanical and chemical).

5. Students will write a synopsis for each picture.

6. These pictures will be used to design a bulletin board for the class on weathering.

7. Acting as a facilitator, I will monitor the class as they collect their pictures and write their synopsis.
Session 3:

1. Review lesson from previous day.

2. Praise students positively for their beautiful work and bulletin board on weathering.

3. Tell students about today’s agenda.

4. We will walk around the school grounds and locate signs of weathering.

5. When returning to class, students will construct a three minute oral presentation on the signs of weathering which they observed.

6. After the presentations, give a written test on the material covered on ’weathering' the last three days.


Collect pictures of objects that are being weathered.
Tour the school grounds—recognize signs of weathering
Short Answer Test (To be graded)
Students design a bulletin board, using collected pictures of weathering, with a written explanation of each one.
Oral Presentations: Types of weathering observed, compare/contrast types, how to slow up or stop weathering process.
Successfully complete the short answer sheet (titled -Weathering-with a “C” (77%)or higher grade. The -weathering- short answer sheet is worth 100 points if answered correctly (by using the answer sheet provided with the short answer sheet). The other two forms of assessment (the bulletin board and the presentation) are not given a grade. They are used as formative assessments to let me know as a teacher whether or not the students are gaining understanding of the material before moving on to the next lesson. If students have not gained the material taught, the teacher can readdress the material again before continuing with next topic or lesson.

Attached Files

Checklist and test.     File Extension: pdf

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