River Model

River Model Lesson Video:

Lesson Plan:

*You can use the document in the link below to either: tailor the experiment to your needs or to have a printable version of this lesson plan*

Google Doc of River Model Lesson Plan

The plan is editable and printable. Copy the Google Doc in your own drive and make edits or you can just print.

Overview:

Students will analyze the symbiotic relationship between river systems and communities by creating a replica river system with the option of having a flooding river or a running river.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this experiment, students will be able to:

  1. Build a river.
  2. Analyze the effects of river flooding.
  3. Observe how the flood renewed the farmlands for nutritious soil for crops.

Alignment with NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards)

MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems. 

MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions. (Grades 6 – 8)

MS-ETS1-4: Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

Logistics:

STEAM Subjects: 

Science (Chemistry) and Art

Science Vocabulary: 

River Bifurcation – River bifurcation occurs when a river flowing in a single stream separates into two or more separate streams which continue downstream 

Time: 

20 mins

Materials:

  • 1 Foil Pan 
    • Either a 9×13 or a 21 x 13” 
  • Dirt 
    • 2 quarts per student or 0.07 of a cubic foot bag for a 9×13 pan
    • 5 quarts per student or 0.16 cubic foot bag for a 21 x 13 pan
  • Water 
  • Bottle with a narrow opening
    • Alternatively, use a plastic cup with a hole punctured on the side.
  • Aluminum Foil
    • ~2 feet per student 
  • Tape 
  • Scissors
  • Nail
  • Book/Box
  • Small Bowl

Special Thank You to Our Funding From:

CSUCI Faculty MiniGrant Program