Science Activity: Shape the Land (page 2)
Geologists don't spend all their time outside, studying rocks and rock layers. They use some of the information they gather to create models. Then they experiment with their models to discover how changes in wind and water might affect real rocks, rock layers, and land formations. In this activity, you'll construct your own model to use in studying those kinds of changes.
1. Get Ready
4 cups flour
2 cups salt
2-3 cups water
Reference books and/or access to the World Wide Web
Five pie plates
Stirring stick or spoon
Tempera paint in various colors
Collection of twigs and pebbles
2. Do and Wonder
To begin, use reference books and/or the World Wide Web to find information on land forms, such as plateaus, canyons, and mountains. Look for good pictures that will help you create your own land forms.
To make the dough, mix together the flour and salt. Then add the water a little at a time to form a stiff dough.
Use the dough to make a model of each of the following: a plateau, a valley, a mountain, a coastline, and a canyon.
Add twigs, pebbles, and sand to your models to make them as realistic as possible.
Allow the models to dry, which will take 12 to 24 hours. Paint the models when you're done.
3. Think and Write
Write a paragraph that describes each model. Also tell how you could change the model to show how a flood, windstorm, or hurricane might affect it.
Geologists sometimes make models of the land and rock layers
they're studying. They then conduct experiments with the models to learn how wind, heat, and running water can change the surface of the land.
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