Weathering and Erosion

Contributor: Elephango Editors. Lesson ID: 10684

Why is the beach so beautiful? How do rocks become smooth? Explore the difference between weathering and erosion using interesting videos, a messy activity, and a creative poster project.


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Have you ever spent a day at the beach and wondered how the sand got there?

It's all thanks to the power of weathering and erosion! The waves, wind, and other forces of nature work together to break down rocks and shells into tiny pieces, eventually becoming the soft sand we love to play in.

So, the next time you're building a sandcastle or collecting seashells, remember that it's all a result of the fantastic work of weathering and erosion at the beach!

Weathering and erosion cause changes in the environment.

  • What is the difference between weathering and erosion?

Watch the video below to find out.

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Weathering and erosion are two crucial natural processes that shape the earth's surface. Although they are related, they are different from each other.

Weathering is the process by which rocks and other materials are broken down into smaller pieces. This process happens over time due to exposure to natural elements like wind, water, and temperature changes.

There are two types of weathering: mechanical and chemical.

Mechanical weathering happens when rocks are physically broken into smaller pieces, such as when a hammer hits a rock or water gets into cracks and freezes, causing the rock to split apart.

Chemical weathering occurs when the chemical composition of a rock is changed, such as when acid rain dissolves rocks or when rust forms on iron.

On the other hand, erosion is the process by which natural forces like wind, water, or ice carry away the broken-down rock particles. For example, when a river flows through a valley, it picks up and carries away soil and rocks from the surrounding areas, creating a V-shaped valley.

Wind erosion can happen in deserts, where strong winds pick up and carry sand particles, shaping the landscape over time.

Continue to the Got It? section to practice what you have learned.

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