Geography Functional Chapter 1 Experiment 7 Erosion

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  • Experiment 7: hard clay, soft clay (or potting soil), watering can, water, container with sides for a base to build the mountain that will hold the water.


  • Teacher should have conducted the First Great Lesson: God Who Has No Hands/The Universe Story before beginning these experiments.
  • Chapter 1 of Functional Geography is Formation of the Earth and includes Impressionistic Charts 1-6
  • Functional geography curriculum focuses on a presentation of the world in terms of the active and functioning processes affecting the earth as a planet in the sun's family. Geography examines the social and cultural contexts of the world while functional geography explores the geological and astronomical contexts of the earth in the universe.
  • When we teach functional geography to the child, we are both performing and recording with words and pictures the forces affecting our planet earth.
  • Functional Geography is presented to the child as an experiment which isolates a concept and then an impressionistic chart which makes a visual impression.


Experiment 7 is part of the FORMATION OF THE EARTH experiments: Now, we will talk about our earth. It was not always as it is today. The next experiments and charts (Charts 3, 4, and 5) show the phases through which the earth has gone. They show the earth before life was possible on it.

Experiment 7: This experiment shows how the mountains formed by the volcanoes were molded through erosion. 1. Build a little mountain, using hard clay for the center and soft clay on top. 2. Drop some water on top of the mountain with a watering can.

Record your observation:

Statement: (Where the earth has little vegetation, the erosion is great. Soils of various types erode at different rates.)


IMPRESSIONISTIC CHART 5: The Sun's Beautiful Daughter

    The earth finally cooled because of the rain. The water not only cooled the earth, but it stayed on the surface of the earth, filling all the cavities, thus cooling the surface still more. But the earth is still very hot in the center. The hot gases still break out from time to time, forming volcanoes. The earth's crust has become harder as it cooled; the cloud of ashes, cinders, dust, and gas which surrounded the earth further cooled the earth by shielding it from the sun's rays.

Control Of Error

Points Of Interest

The classified nomenclature is usually presented before the impressionistic charts and after the experiments, but can also be parallel to the charts. Since the classified nomenclature can be very long, it is not necessary to present all of the classified nomenclature before beginning the charts.


  • The Montessori methodology first gives the concept of the formation of the earth through experiments. These experiments are the key to giving the child the concrete verification that the universe is not a static universe, but one in which elements are in motion.


  • Usually, the teacher presents the experiment first, and the the child does it independently using the direction card for directions. With the older children, the experiments are presented in a more scientific way.


1. Look for examples of erosion around your neighborhood or school yard. 2. Research before and after pictures of areas affected by storms, tornadoes or hurricanes.