Written by Cary I. Sneider
and Katharine Barrett, with Kevin Beals, Lincoln Bergman, Jefferey
S. Kaufmann, and Robert C. Knott
Geologic time is collapsed into observable, tabletop evolution
in this unit on the dynamic life of river systems.
In this second edition of River Cutters the sequence
and educational impact of the activities has been significantly
transformed and deepened. Based on extensive teacher feedback,
and on a collaborative effort between GEMS and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061
(the group that developed Benchmarks for Science Literacy),
the new River Cutters has been expressly designed to
better meet several major benchmarks and more strongly align
with the National Science Education Standards. We've added a
new session focusing on improving student comprehension of geologic
time, and placed greater emphasis on key environmental issues.
Creating river models using a dripper system and diatomaceous
earth, students acquire geological terminology and begin to
understand rivers as dynamic, ever-changing systems. They investigate
the concepts of erosion, pollution, toxic waste, and human manipulation
of rivers, and gain understanding of controlled experimentation.
This unit is an ideal springboard for the full-scale independent
student investigations strongly urged by the National Standards.
With the GEMS guides Acid Rain
and Global Warming & the Greenhouse
Effect, River Cutters can be used to good advantage
in a unit on environmental issues and human impact.
Recommends River Cutters
"The staff members who put together these books painstakingly
explore a concept and develop meaningful, enjoyable activities.
The revised book is more tightly aligned with the National
Science Education Standards than the original. A concerted
effort has been made to use materials that are readily available
and to offer a setup plan that enables even a novice teacher
to prepare a successful lesson with a minimal amount of stress.
The book should be a critical part of every junior high Earth
science unit because it offers a powerful model for moving from
concept to conceptual understanding using interesting and engaging
science activities. The entire GEMS series is strong, and River
Cutters is one of the best GEMS guides yet."
National Science Teachers Association Recommends
Comment on this GEMS unit.