The major activities in the unit include
Modeling the water cycle and producing rain.
Analyzing soil components and investigating their interactions with water.
Running water through a stream table to observe changes in land.
Varying the slope, water flow, and land formations in stream tables and observing the results.
Collecting runoff and comparing samples from different stream table configurations.
Creating and labeling "aerial" maps of the stream patterns produced.
Designing and building dams in their stream tables and observing their effects.
Planting a portion of a stream table with seeds and observing the effects of ground cover on runoff and erosion.
Designing and building a model landscape with a homesite, predicting the flow and effects of water within it, and testing the predictions.
Through related reading selections in the unit, students learn about glaciers, some innovative ways used to collect water in dry regions, an experimental flood designed to restore some natural features along the Colorado River, and a classic example of architecture in harmony with landscape-Fallingwater, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. A special feature of the unit is a series of photo cards of natural scenes that illustrate concepts the students are learning through their work with model landscapes.
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