River Cutters

Grades 6—8

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.

NSTA 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

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River Cutters

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ISBN: Grade Level Format Price
0-924886-32-3 6—8 7 Sessions,
120 pages

Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2004 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated December 29, 2020