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Demonstrating Water Erosion Of Land Masses

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Updated on May 21, 2013

Water has power! It has the power to shape the surface of the Earth. Water can change one landform by washing away sediment and then depositing it somewhere else to create a new landform.


How are new landforms created through erosion and deposition?


  • Dirt
  • Small gravel
  • Sand
  • Deep baking dish or pan
  • Book
  • Pencil
  • Paper cups


  1. Start by pouring sand, dirt, and gravel in layers at one end of the dish. This is your “landform.” Use your hand to smooth the land. Leave the other end of the dish empty.
  2. Dip your fingers into the water and slowly drip water over the land. Repeat this until the land is wet. What do you observe about the water that falls on the dry land? Record your observation
  3. Slightly pick up on the end of the dish with the land in it. Place a book under that end.
  4. Use a pencil tip to poke a tiny hole in the bottom of a paper cup. Hold the cup above the land. Slowly pour water into the cup and watch what happens to the land while the water drains onto it. Observe what is happening to both the land and the water.
  5. Once the water has stopped draining, record your observations and include a drawing of your land’s new form.
  6. Add another book under the land end of the dish. Repeat the water draining activity. Observe what occurred with the land and water this time. Record your observations including a drawing.
Angela Pike has been in the world of elementary education for almost a decade, working as a classroom teacher, school writing specialist, and later a school administrator. After a recent leave from the education realm to stay at home with her children, she channeled her passion for education, science, and writing into a composing articles and educational activities for various companies.