Lesson Plan Title : Beach Erosion

Age Range:

Grade 9 through Grade 12 (High School)

Overview and Purpose:

This lesson calls attention to the smallest changes that can take place over time. It may encourage discussions about the various positive and negative effects beach erosion can have on the environment, as well as what can be done about it.


The student will be able to use material available on the internet to plot changes to America's coastline over the past century.


Large map of America

Internet access for students

Poster markers in vibrant colors

Small maps of different areas of coastline in America


Hang the large map of America on the wall. Explain that students are going to research whether the coastline has changed in the past century. Assign groups of students to research different sections of coastline. (You can concentrate on one region and break that down into smaller areas or study the nation as a whole.)

The students can look at satellites, geographical surveys, and media reports to gather their data. They should mark any changes they find on the map. Depending on when the map was made will determine if students should look for a current coastline or the past one.


A related lesson could be the study of why the coastlines changed. Was it due to hurricanes or tides? Students could also make 3-D models of smaller sections of their coastlines or prepare a PowerPoint presentation on their research.