"Forces of the Earth"


Social Studies


Given pictures, students will be able to:
-define a glacier.
-identify forces such as, wind,  moving water, glaciers, earthquakes, floods, and people, that cause change on Earth.


block of ice
plastic bag
paper bag
plastic container with a lid
pictures of Earth changes
computer with Microsoft PowerPoint


1.  What are some ways that people change as they get older over the years.  Do you think the Earth changes?  How?

2. Today we are going to talk about different things that cause the Earth to change.

3. Teacher will have the students define change. Teacher will point out how they change -slowly.

4.  The teacher will ask the students to describe a piece of paper, which is being held. The teacher will then crumble the paper into a ball and hold it up. How has the paper changed? What caused the change? (an outside force-hand)  Was this fast or slow?

5.  Have students imagine that a large block of ice is a rock. Wrap the ice in a plastic bag, and then wrap newspaper around the bag. Use a hammer to strike the ice. Have students examine the sharp edges of the broken ice block. Select 6-10 angular pieces of ice small enough to fit through the mouth of the plastic container. Add water to the container until it is half full, put the lid on it and place it in a paper bag. Have the students take turns shaking the container, carefully.

6. What things cause the Earth to change? (wind, water, glaciers) What are things that people do that change the Earth? (move rocks and soil, cut down trees, cause fires)

7.  Teacher will have the students perform the cooperative learning activity "Send a Problem" and have different pictures from magazines that depict change on Earth (mountains, rivers, earthquake, flood, fire) in different folders that are passed from team to team.

8.   When each team receives a new folder, the students will work in teams to describe and record the changes caused by earthquakes, floods and fires and how rivers and mountains are changed.

9.  Students are to also record the agent of change of each picture and whether it is fast or slow.

10. We have learned that wind, water, and glaciers, change Earth. We have seen that people cause change by moving rocks and soil to make roads, cutting down trees and by causing fires. Some changes on Earth, like earthquakes, cause change quickly. Other changes, like changes in landforms take a very, very long time.


Students will work in teams to choose one example of change on Earth and use 4 PowerPoint slides to exemplify how it changes and what the agent of change is, using at least one clip art to help explain.