Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Dam Project

We have these Land and Water kits that EVERY 5th grade class HAS to do.  They're basically plastic tubs filled with dirt, sand, gravel, and red clay, and the kids experiment with different flows of water and slope and such to see the effects of erosion and weathering.  They're a big mess, but they're actually pretty fun.

So, we've been working away at our kits for almost 2 months.  This week, my technology instructor came in for a class visit to see the kids using all of our technology.  She had told me about a teacher who used to be in our district who had put most of the kit online and added some things to make it more technologically advanced.

Thanks, Mrs. Ghumm, for your great resources!  It's a great site, and I think I'll use it a lot more next year!  We were ready to begin the portion of our kits where students experiment with how humans affect the flow of water.

After doing a Wall Wisher activity where the kids posted what they already knew about how we affect water, we moved on to researching different types of dams.  Amazingly, there were only a couple students who giggled at the word "dam."

Students were put into groups of 4 and each person had a different type of dam to research.  After researching, they had to share and decide as a team which type of dam to build.  Then, they had to create a project proposal that included a diagram of their dam, then they presented these to the class.  After all that, they were able to build their dams.

They turned out pretty well!  Out of 2 classes, 8 total groups, we had only 3 dams fail and flood their town!