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The Best Free Printable: What is the Difference between Weathering and Erosion?

Have you taught your children about how the earth changes by the elements? The effects of air, ice and water on rock are defined as weathering and erosion. But do we know what each one is and what they look like? How do we recognize each one of them?

Don’t forget to check out our awesome hub for all kinds of erosion, weathering and deposition printables and activities!

What is the Difference between Weathering and Erosion? {Free Printables}

Weathering and Erosion Activities

In this post, you will get these activities to include in your lesson plans. Students will learn the difference between weathering and erosion. You will also have the opportunity to print out your free printable set to practice what you have learned. We hope you enjoy it and learn a lot!

We had so much fun during the lesson that I completely forgot to take pictures to show you! Ha! I did include the sample cards so you see what we did. Your free printables will be the originals without the watermark.

The earth surface is very unique. It is composed of rocks and sediments and many other elements that, with the help of water, air, ice and other things, can be broken down into smaller pieces of rock. Some elements like water and ice can dissolve rock overtime and air does its erosion and weathering magic by picking up and carrying away particles of soil and rock.

What is the Difference between Weathering and Erosion? {Free Printables}

What is Weathering?

To understand what weathering and erosion are, you can read this link and then come back to see how we applied our knowledge. Made simple, weathering is a change in the chemistry in a rock, by water or air over time. Weathering is the process where rocks change structure with gaps, gashes or arches formed in the rocks.

What is Erosion?

Erosion, on the other hand, is also called mass wasting. This means that water, air or both move the rocks or parts of the rocks. You will see rocks, gravel or even boulders move downward because gravity is the reigning force on this planet. Many times, you will see both weathering and erosion near each other on rock formations.

What is the Difference between Weathering and Erosion? {Free Printables}

This Summer, we went on a road trip to the beautiful states of Colorado and Utah. Most of the images in your free printable set were taken by me during our trip. We had such a wonderful time and yes, we has an impromptu lesson on weathering and erosion while on the road because we saw so much of it, especially at Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.

Basically, your free printable set will be printed with a color printer and then laminate the cards. Note: you can print the cards on one page each or you can change the layout to print 2 cards per page. This will save you ink, but the images might end up too small to really learn to distinguish weathering and erosion. Just something to think about. 

Then, cut the labels that say “erosion” and “weathering.” Now you are ready to begin your lesson!

What is the Difference between Weathering and Erosion? {Free Printables}

What is the Difference between Weathering and Erosion?

Begin your Earth Science lesson by introducing your children to the definition of erosion and weathering. Then, show your children the cards that state “This is what erosion looks like” and “This is what weathering looks like.” The arrows are very helpful to show what exactly we are talking about.

The third activity is to compare both cards. Notice the differences and similarities. Can they tell the difference by looking at the two cards side by side? Remember that discussing these things with them is imperative to learn their thought process and guide them in the right direction.

The last activity is to take out the two cards (12 pictures total) that have 2 arrows. These cards say “Erosion or Weathering?” at the top. Use the labels that you printed and place an arrow next to each arrow to show which arrow is pointing to the erosion and which is pointing to the weathering.
What is the Difference between Weathering and Erosion? {Free Printables}

Put some of these books to good use to research some of the terms if you desire to expand your lesson: chemical weathering, physical weathering, biological weathering, the weathering process, different types of weathering, geological processes, how weathering occurs, mechanical weathering, etc.

 Earth Facts and Fun Book for Kids Erosion and Weathering Cracking Up: A Story About Erosion Weathering and Erosion Weathering and Erosion: Wearing Down Rocks A Look at Erosion and Weathering


Free Printables

What is the Difference between Weathering and Erosion? {Free Printables}

Weathering and Erosion for Kids

I hope you will enjoy this lesson as much as we did! Your free printable is here. It won’t have the “SAMPLE” watermark on it. Let your children practice this often so they can learn these concepts effectively.

When you go for walks or hikes, point out any weathering and/or erosion you find. See if they can recognize any in the real world. Get your printable set now! Enter your name and email below. The file will be right there.


Want the entire set of printables for an amazing price? We have a bundle that covers the difference between erosion and deposition, some weathering and erosion worksheets and so much more!


Facts on Weathering, Erosion & Deposition BUNDLE

$7.50 $4.99

This bundle includes: Erosion and Weathering Printable Set, Erosion and Weathering 3-Part Cards, What is Erosion? Info Cards, What is Weathering? Info Cards, What is Deposition? Info Cards and Erosion, Weathering & Deposition Wheel Craft

Want some awesome ideas for weathering and erosion experiments? Our post: Erosion vs Weathering ~ Awesome Science STEM Activities will be perfect for you!


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  1. Hi,
    Sadly, the link for this didn’t work. 🙁 I don’t know if there’s anything that can be done. I got this message:

    “The secure download manager ran into a problem that it couldn’t handle, and is unable to process your download request. Please contact the site administrator.

    Please tell the site administrator the problem was due to the following reason:
    The download link (see browser address bar) couldn’t be found in the wp_eStore database.”

  2. How do we get the printable? Do you have to fill out your name and email and click “download now”? I’m always so leery of download now buttons like that… i got a virus on my computer once because I thought I was clicking the link for a download!!!

  3. After completing the form, it said an email has been sent with the link. However, after a few hours, I have not received an email. Is there something else I need to do?

    Thank you!


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