Fourth Grade: Changing Earth



The focus of the fall trip is the variety of processes that shape and reshape the earth’s surface. Students will learn that landforms constantly develop and change as the forces of weathering and erosion change rocks and break them down. They will also realize people have a direct effect on weathering, erosion and deposition. People can speed up erosion by clearing the land for farming, housing developments, building roads, deforestation and strip mining. Students develop an understanding reading topographic maps. They take a closer look at contour lines and contour intervals as they use and build their own topographic map.


This program brings the forests to the classroom to explore how forests have changed over time and how we know this. Students will learn the forests of today see have not always looked the same. The environment is different and the plants are different. Students will look at the fossil evidence of plants and learn first hand that some have gone extinct, some have adapted to their surroundings and there are some new ones that were not around before. Using fossils and real plants students will discover what the same is and what has changed and what might be the reason behind these changes.


This program is held at Holden’s Working Woods, which was used by Holden to produce maple syrup from 1976-2006. The property, like Ohio, has gone through many changes since settlement. Students study these changes by studying the two types of ecosystems, forest and field, found on the property. They become scientists and study various living and non-living things in the environment. One of the things they discover is that different animals inhabit each ecosystem and howhuman interaction or natural disaster can change the ecosystem over time.