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Prairies in the Prairie State : How Glaciers Shape the Land
This hands-on activity demonstrates the abrasive power of glaciers carrying rocks and sand. Its purpose is to illustrate the concept that glaciers change the Earth's surface through the processes of erosion and deposition. Students construct model glaciers by freezing water with sand and pebbles at the bottom to represent the rock fragments carried by a real glacier. They then rub their 'glacier' across rocks of varying hardness to see what happens. Afterwards, they place the ice where it can melt and observe what happens to the sand and pebbles trapped in it. A materials list, procedures, and background information are supplied.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Primary (K-2)
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
  • Cryology
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
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DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-008-845
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Illinois State Museum
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