Skittle Erosion Lab
Third Grade Science
o By the end of this lesson, the children will understand how weathering and erosion works.
o During the lesson the children will be able to record their observations.
SCSDE Curriculum Standard(s) Addressed: (APS 4, 6)
o 3.E.4B.2 Plan and conduct scientific investigations to determine how natural processes (including weathering, erosion, and gravity) shape Earth’s surface.
Prerequisites: The student must have a basic knowledge of weathering and erosion and what it does to the Earth. The student also must have knowledge of the scientific method in order to complete the lab worksheet.
Skittles Lab Worksheet
Clear Plastic Cups or Petree Dishes
o Have the students watch the video
o Ask what we have learned about weathering and erosion.
o Compare student’s answers within a small group.
o Explain that a skittle has some similarities to a rock.
o Drop 5 drops of water on a skittle and record what happened.
o Repeat with 10 drops.
o Repeat with 15 drops.
o Discuss what happened after each step. Have students use the vocabulary words (weather and erosion) to express what is happening.
o Have students complete the experiment lab as they go, using colored pencils to show what is happening to their skittle.
o If time permits, have the children set aside their skittle trays for one to two hours and take observations again.
o Ask what the children observed today.
o Go back to the answers given in the introduction activity
o The children will complete a lab worksheet while participating in the experiment. They will have to document their findings and use the scientific method. I will observe the children while they are filling out the sheet and guide them if needed.
Adaptations and Accommodations:
o There are three different options for the lab worksheets. There is a beginner, intermediate and advanced sheet. (see the attached pages)
o You can also do the lesson as a group instead of individually.
o Have the children observe the skittles one to two hours after the initial observations and document any changes.
o Have the children complete the “Which is it?” worksheet to reiterate the differences between weathering, erosion and deposition.
o In the science center or during independent work time, provide the students with rocks so they can observe the traits a rock has. They will realize that the force of weathering and erosion has to be strong to make a change in the earth’s composition.