Lesson 3
Part 2

A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape

Selecting a Site (2) / Grade 5 / Bremerton, WA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape, L3 P2

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

In the beginning of this lesson, Desiree showed her students images of TarPuls from the internet. How do these images help prepare students for the challenge?

Desiree shows TarPuls in different locations and calls attention to the types of soil that anchor the TarPuls. 

  • Desiree shows five different TarPuls—one going over water, one attached to a mountain, one hanging very low to the ground—and the images help students realize that the TarPul they saw in the storybook is only one version of this technology. (0:48–1:30)
  • As a way to start thinking about the best type of soil for anchoring, Desiree makes a point of asking students about the type of soil anchoring the TarPuls in the pictures. (1:13)

As students conduct their soil experiments, how does Desiree address the importance of controlling variables?

Desiree reviews the purpose of multiple trials, the role of averaging, and the importance of consistency. 

  • By introducing the “place mat” idea for the soil tubs, Desiree underscores the importance of consistency between trials. (2:34)
  • After reviewing the procedure, Desiree asks students to identify the only variable that should change during the tests—the soil type. (3:56)