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Road Paint Weathering

Weathering and erosion impact natural and manmade objects alike. In this phenomenon, you will see evidence of weathering and erosion on road paint. 

Sioux Center, Iowa

Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Question

  • What could cause the paint to weather?
  • Where do you think the paint went?
  • How long do you think it took for the road paint to get this way?

Classroom Suggestions

Students could: 

  • Color on a white board with dry erase markers, then put different substances like ice, sand, or water (hot or cold), in a bag with the board and shake it around to see what happens. Have another student time the interval of shaking. Students could record what they predict will happen and then what actually happens. After they record the results, they can repeat the process with different time intervals. When students have completed their predictions and the activity we will talk as a class about what this might look like in real life. We will talk about road paint and how it changes over time with different natural elements. 
  • Use an observation sheet to observe weathering at home and give them prompts for noticing and wondering. 

Related Resources

  • Weathering and Erosion | Generation Genius: This helpful website includes a short, kid-friendly video on physical weathering and erosion, as well as key vocabulary, fun facts, real life examples and other information to guide student learning on this topic. There are also discussion questions that students can read about, such as “What are the four ways that weathering/erosion can happen?”
  • Legends of Learning: These games on weathering and erosion help students to understand this process that shapes through various means including water, wind, and ice. 

    Iowa Core Alignment


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

    Credit Info

    Submitted by Heidi Griess, Rose Rankin, and Karissa Roghair

    REAPCorporation for Public BroadcastingAlliant EnergyMusco LightingPella