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Tides, High and Low

Explore how gravity and the moon affect tides. Find out how tides are useful to man.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Ask students if they have ever spent time at the beach. Has anyone noticed that the water rises slowly on the shore for six hours, then slowly recedes, or falls back, for another six hours? These movements happen twice a day and are called tides.
    2. Invite students working in small groups to investigate what causes the tides. Have group members organize research. Focus questions might include: How and why do tides occur? What causes the shift in tides? Are tides useful to man? Does man harness this evergy for his own use? If so, how? Do tides damage or help the environment?
    3. Once research is complete, groups will use Crayola® Model Magic® to create a relief sculpture based on what they have learned about tides. Use a large piece of plywood, thick foamcore, or thick cardboard as a base for artwork.
    4. Find a clean area on the floor to work. Knead modeling compound thoroughly for best adherence. To create new colors, knead 2 primary colors until well mixed.
    5. Press modeling compound firmly onto board. Use a rolling pin to roll out large flat areas. Push your thumbs and fingers into soft modeling compound after it is laid onto the board for interesting textures.
    6. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack will stick to itself. Dried pieces can be glued together. After piece is completely dry, it may be displayed on a wall for all to see!
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.

    SCI: Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Oceans: Looking at Beaches and Coral Reefs, Tides and Currents, Sea Mammals and Fish, Seaweeds and Other Ocean Wonders by Adrienne Mason; MOON AND TIDES, INSIDE SCIENCE READERS (Inside Science: Earth and Space Science) by Rob Lang

    Students work in small groups to develop a calendar sculpture for each month of the year. Post calendars in a timeline-like format. Students trace actual tidal events by researching daily news reports on tides.

    How do tides effect weather issues? Students consider a projected weather event such as a hurricane. How do tidal patterns influence the hurricane's impact on land and human upgrades to the land? Students research specific weather events that have documented influence from high or low tides.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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