Our Amazing Earth

This unit focuses on patterns of change at the Earth’s surface. Students explore how physical weathering and factors affecting the rate of erosion change their landscapes over time, including the influence of human impact. In addition to a half-day field study at a local natural area, we provide three 90-minute classes supporting the Our Amazing Earth curriculum. 

This unit is backwards designed from Common Core and Next Generation Science State Standards for fourth grade and includes pre- and post- student assessments. To supplement the lessons taught by Sierra Nevada Journeys, the teacher will also have access to our extension curriculum. The extensions include a pre-unit lesson, extension activities for the in-school and field based lessons, and a post-unit lesson to wrap up the program. 

Lessons Overview

LESSON 1: Weathering causes and effects 

 During this 90-minute classroom lesson students use hands-on simulations to discover the concept of weathering and investigate the causes and effects this natural process has on rocks. 

LESSON 2: Factors Affecting the Rate of Erosion

During this 90-minute classroom lesson students explore how different factors affect the rate of erosion. Students will then use their understanding of how sediment moves to collaboratively build a landscape with the goal of preventing erosion using materials from the schoolyard.

LESSON 3: Weathering and Erosion in the Real World 

This 3-hour field study at a beautiful natural area has students using their observation skills to explore the outdoors and document evidence of weathering and erosion as a real natural process in the field.

LESSON 4: Human Impact 

During this 90-minute classroom lesson students work together to model relationships between weathering and erosion, followed by activities that analyze how various human-induced changes to the Earth’s surface create an even larger impact to our landscapes.


To book Our Amazing Earth, please review the school districts we serve in Nevada and California and click on the state where your school resides. When prompted to choose grade/program, please select 4th - Our Amazing Earth.


Common Core 

ELA: W.4.7, SL.4.1, RI.4.9, MP. 3 

Next Generation Science Standards 

4-ESS2-1: DCI- ESS2.A, DCI-ESS2.E, SEP: Analyze and Interpret Data, CC: Cause & Effect ; 4-ESS2-2: DCI- ESS2.B, SEP: Analyze and Interpret Data, CC: Patterns