Weathering is MESSY

Stream Table – excellent for WED demos

When I say W.E.D., I reassure my students that I don’t want them to WED their secret admirer in elementary school. I follow this up with notifying them that they aren’t allowed to WED anyone until me, their dear OLD – and single – science teacher, gets married before them. But….


W.E.D. is a shortened term for Weathering – Erosion – Deposition. W.E.D. This term is used when teaching the rock cycle, soil, and how Earth changes.

I use a number of labs with W.E.D. including a Changing Landforms Lab. Set perimeters so that water and sand is not allowed to leave the bucket on purpose. Each table needs a pan. I get one per table at the dollar store. All students need GOGGLES. Plus, aren’t goggles what real scientists use? My scientists LOVE goggles.  I add several large scoops of clean sand and dampen it. (Get a 50 lb. bag of play sand at a home improvement store for less than $5.) We sketch before and after results using wind erosion (straw), water erosion (spray bottle), glacier erosion (ice), and wave erosion (plate.) I have students build a mountain landform in the center of the pan and rebuild the same landform in the same place for all four parts. So, students should sketch four of the same landforms in the BEFORE boxes on the lab sheet. After students perform each type of erosion, sketch how the landform appears. This is a MESSY but entirely AWESOME lab. Be prepared to have students wipe tables. Did I say this is MESSY but entirely AWESOME?

The teacher may think of this after the activity…..


….but your junior scientists are thinking HAPPY THOUGHTS!!! ♥


Here is an imperfect version of the lab sheet all students fill out. I also fill one out in the journals I model for the students.


Wind erosion with straws *and giggles* AND wave erosion with plates (pour in extra water) and giggles…MUST.USE.GOGGLES.

To finish the lab and to EVALUATE understanding, tie this weathering into why this matters to kids. This weathering impacts our land over time. Weathering is a slow changer to Earth’s land and can change landforms over millions of years. Science is truly sooo fun.

Here are some CHANGING EARTH products from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I make them because I like them and use them.

Changing Earth Task Cards – awesome cooperative learning & test review activity

Changing Earth Vocabulary Word Wall Word Cards – a MUST HAVE for all classrooms!

Changing Earth: Fast and Slow Changers Bulletin Board Set

Changing Earth Vocabulary Picture Match – with real photos! This is a fun matching game with the landform picture and the definition….there are differentiated versions for the recording sheet.

Did I say that teaching science ROCKS my world?? It’s is truly awesome!slide1


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