Lesson 3
Part 1

A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape

Selecting a Site (1) / Grade 5 / Bremerton, WA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape, L3 P1

Students use maps to study the erosion along a riverbank over time and conduct controlled experiments to determine how soil compaction around a foundation affects the foundation’s strength.

Reflection Questions

Where do you see Desiree incorporating cooperative learning strategies that encourage students to share their thinking and work together as they learn?

Desiree relies on variations of the turn and talk strategy to help keep students engaged and give them time to express their own ideas.  

  • Desiree has each group take a minute to discuss their initial ideas about which sites would be good for building the TarPul. (1:35)
  • After asking whether rocky or organic soil would make better TarPul sites, Desiree says, “Don’t tell me, tell your partners,” and encourages them to tell each other why. (5:40)

Desiree does a nice job of building knowledge about the changing shape of the rivers, the reason for the changes, and their implications for situating a TarPul. How does she make these connections?

Desiree’s instruction allows students to describe for themselves how rivers have changed over time and think about what might happen over time to a TarPul built on a certain site. 

  • Desiree is very explicit about the fact that the two images she shows are of the same river at different points in time. (3:09)
  • After overlaying one map upon the other, she has students describe to her what has changed. (3:29)
  • Desiree’s students then attribute the development of sharper turns in the river to erosion. (4:00)
  • Desiree asks students to think specifically about what would have happened in 1974 to a TarPul built in 1920. (4:12)