Weathering and Erosion

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In this activity (page 13 of the PDF), learners discover how weathering and erosion change the Earth’s surface. By comparing sedimentary rocks subjected to various amounts of weathering, they will see first-hand the effects of water erosion on the landscape. Although this was created as a post-visit activity for a workshop about earth processes, it also makes an excellent stand-alone activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
4 to 24 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 15 rough, sandstone, limestone, or shale (sedimentary) rocks
  • Three same size containers with lids (such as 32-ounce Gatorade bottles, wide mouth)
  • Three clear cups or jars
  • A pen, paper, and masking tape, to label both the cans and the clear jars with A, B and C


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Geochemical Cycles
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009