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Database Provider

Author

Google Earth

Grades

4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Biology, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

South and Central America

Rivers Meandering

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Synopsis
  • This interactive resource allows students to explore satellite imagery of a meandering natural river in Bolivia, with images beginning in 1985.
  • Students will observe the river naturally change course and leave behind oxbow lakes as it meanders through time.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Pausing the progression of images allows students to compare the images from different years and identify all of the changes.
  • Students may have never seen a river in its natural state, so this might be very helpful in explaining natural processes or the ability of humans to change the landscape.

Additional Prerequisites

Differentiation

  • Students could work in groups to identify where the river changed course and anticipate future changes.
  • Connections with art classes could be made by having students draw or paint the river from different years side-by-side to illustrate the changes.
  • Physics classes could evaluate the fluid dynamics and sedimentation locations to predict future changes.
  • Biology and science classes could explore how changing the flow of a river with dams, cement armor, or channels can affect the river ecosystem and cause other unintentional changes, such as the loss of land at the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana or an increase in methane emissions from reservoirs.
Scientist Notes
The resource presents a spatiotemporal change in river meandering. Climate change impacts caused disappearance and depositions, creating new tributaries and flow patterns. Students can explore to see these changes and new features it has created over time. The resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
      • MS-PS2-2 Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
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