Speedy Water and Sediments

6, 7, 8

This lesson will focus on the effect the speed of water has on erosion rate and the deposition of sediment with learners using inference to draw conclusions. Learners will relate commons, stewardship and the roles of all sectors in reducing rates of erosion in rivers and lakes. Learners will relate what their responsibility is to give of their time, talent or treasure, and take action in preserving and protecting lakes and rivers.

Lesson Rating 
PrintThree Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learners will:

  • complete the lab "Speedy Water and Sediments." (Attachment One)
  • collect data from lab and graph.
  • use inference to make conclusions on the relationship between water speed and amount of sediment deposited.
  • define the role of all sectors in contributing to the problem of erosion and identify methods and strategies to solve the problem.
  • list the ways the rivers and lakes are common resources and meet community needs.
  • define stewardship as a trust of common resources held by a community for citizens.
  • continue portfolio, "Healthy Water," from Lesson One: Healthy Water!?…
  • Lab sheets entitled Speedy Water and Sediments (Attachment One)
  • The following items must be available for the laboratory experiment
    • 20-inch pieces of PCV pipe cut lengthwise
    • Stop watch or clock with a second hand
    • Water
    • Enough sand to fill bottom and sides of box to approximately one-half inch thickness
    • Gallon milk bottles with permanent markers showing the half full line
    • Electronic balance scales or beam balance scales
    • Ruler
    • Plastic plate
    • Plastic collecting box or sink
    • Large sheets of paper
    • Markers
Home Connection 

Students will take home their graded labs, share the results with their family members and have their parents, siblings and grandparents share an example of these scientific phenomena they have observed. Use this activity as a required part of the lab.


Guidestar www.guidestar.org

  • The following two quality programs (located via guidestar.org ) can provide helpful information on nonprofit involvement in water quality.

Friends of the Rouge http://www.therouge.org
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
Friends of the Rouge provides community-based and school-based environmental education programs, plus hands-on citizen involvement activities that promote stewardship and raise awareness of the Rouge River which is located in the metropolitan Detroit area and is one of the most severely degraded urban streams in America.

Little Forks Conservancy, Inc.
Midland, MI 48640
Organized for the purposes of promoting for the benefit of the general public, the preservation and protection of the natural and cultural resources, principally in, but not limited to, the Tittabawassee River watershed; to protect river corridors in regard to erosion, scenic areas and views and water quality; to protect areas such as bogs, wet-sand prairies, marshes, and other habitats; and to protect archeological and historical sites and buildings.



  1. Anticipatory Set:Begin by asking students when they have seen different amounts of sand on the bottom of the lakes or rivers they frequent and have them give specific examples. Ask about the action of waves. Ask learners about litter on beaches and "stuff" washed up on the shore. Have students come up with two or three reasons why the amount of sand may fluctuate. (This activity should be done in small groups and then a group leader shares their results.)

  2. Write the following names of stakeholders and sectors on a large sheet of paper and post so all can see: government, business, non-profits, and households. Ask students to define each group.Develop the following definition of nonprofit: nonprofit sector (n) Any not-for-profit or tax-exempt organizations collectively that are specifically not associated with any government, government agency, or commercial enterprise

    • Have learners give examples of a way(s) each may contribute to cleaning up the lakes and rivers in the state and stop erosion.
    • Pass out lab sheets to groups. (3-4 in each group)
    • Review the different sections of the lab and fill in any areas that you feel the students may struggle with.
    • Give students ample time to complete the lab following directions in the lab. (Attachment One: Speedy Water and Sediments)
    • Learners are to write answers to the following questions: What were those things you discovered that were surprises? What conclusions did you make? What ways could the experience have been improved? What two things can you do personally to prevent the problems you discovered? Collect for evaluation.
    • Regroup and share results.

Students will be assessed by observations made by the teacher during the lab and follow-up. Objective assessment of the lab sheets using points for each section. Instructor-constructed quiz on content. Assess the four evaluation questions in the instructional sequence.


Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Describe how different needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society, and family.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Define <i>stewardship</i> as a trust of common resources held by a community for citizens.
      2. Benchmark MS.7 Give examples of common resources in the community.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.