Basic Procedure

Discuss how the chalk will represent land or rocks and the vinegar will be the “weather” that will produce change to the land or rocks. Ask students how they think particle size affects changes to the Earth’s surface. (Hypothesis)

  1. Fill cups ½ full with vinegar .
  2. Give each group of students two pieces of chalk (break one piece in half). Have students place one piece of chalk in ziplock bag. Apply pressure to break the chalk into pieces. DO NOT CRUSH INTO POWDER
  3. Give each group of students two cups with vinegar.
  4. Have students put the piece of whole chalk into one cup of vinegar and all of the broken pieces of the other piece of chalk into the other cup.
  5. Allow chalk to stay in the vinegar for 10 minutes.
  6. During this time, discuss the variables (Vinegar and time are controlled variables, particle size is the independent variable (the one that you change between experiments), the amount dissolved is the dependent variable (what you measure)) and weathering.
  7. After 10 minutes allow students to observe cups.
  8. Discuss observations and make conclusion.

Discuss what would happen if you stirred (wind) or used heated vinegar (independent variables.) You can do this if time permits and teacher has a microwave to heat the vinegar.

Erosion Activity

Show students sugar cubes and pebbles. Put 10 sugar cubes and 10 pebbles into the container and put on lid. Shake the container and then pass the container around the room allowing students to shake during the 10 minutes. Discuss erosion with students.


Basic procedure
Key Knowledge
Science Background
Script Idea
Barrier Islands
Alternate Ideas
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