Beach Erosion Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about beach erosion. Students will read an informational text explaining beach erosion, what causes it and why it's a problem, discuss content by asking and answering questions, and do an engaging active and take a lesson quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define beach erosion
  • explain what causes beach erosion
  • discuss why beach erosion is a problem


1 - 1.5 hours


  • Copies of the lesson Beach Erosion Lesson for Kids, one for each student or a master copy to use as a shared reading
  • Sand
  • Small paper cups
  • Aluminum trays
  • Water
  • Rulers
  • Tape

Key Vocabulary

  • Beach erosion
  • Sand dunes
  • Dredge

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3

Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.


  • Engage students by dividing them into small groups and giving each group an aluminum pan and a cup of sand.
  • Have students place sand in their pans at one end and challenge them to gently blow the sand to the other end of the tray. Explain to be careful about blowing too hard and getting sand outside the pan and/or in a friend's eyes.
  • Once all groups have accomplished their task, tell them this is a form of erosion on beaches. Define 'erosion' and share prior knowledge before previewing vocabulary.
  • Now distribute the lesson Beach Erosion Lesson for Kids or display as a whole group reading.
  • Read the first section 'What is Beach Erosion?' together. Have students share experiences of seeing sand erosion, or show them images and discuss.
  • Next read 'What Causes Erosion?' with students and ask:
    • What are the two main causes of beach erosion?
    • What human activities cause beach erosion?
  • Have students turn and talk to a partner, discussing why beach erosion is a problem. Prompt them to consider the impact on people, communities, buildings, wildlife, etc. Have them share as a whole group.
  • Read the section 'Why is Beach Erosion a Problem?' Compare student predictions to the information from the lesson, then discuss:
    • Is erosion a mostly natural or unnatural process?
    • What is the impact of beach erosion?
    • How do coastal communities fight beach erosion?
    • What other ways can we fight beach erosion?
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary' and take the quiz to check understanding. Re-teach if necessary.

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