Appreciating The World By Learning About Landforms

Learning about the Earth's landforms may develop a greater appreciation of our world.

By Kristen Kindoll

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Landform Lesson Plans

From sea to shining sea, and over fruited plains aren’t just words in a patriotic song, they are also descriptions of some of the varied and beautiful landforms that we find on Earth. Our blue and green planet is blessed with an array of topography.  By studying about landforms, children can learn about the diversity of our world, and gain an appreciation that will make them want to preserve it for future generations.

Activities can help students begin to define the different types of landforms. For instance, the  Hawaiian Islands have unique landforms which are worth investigating.  Reading Jessie’s Island, by Sheryl McFarlane will help to introduce landforms through thrilling descriptions of nature on the West Coast. Using maps of the area and Post-Its to label different types of landforms, is an interactive way to define new terms.

Oceans of the World is a useful website that provides ideas and activities to help children learn about this important resource. After all, oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface.  This website includes several art projects, and even fill-in-the-blank worksheets. It is a great way to link geography with science.  Also, NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, website provides a way to show children how scientists and others use geographic information.

Worksheets can be used to reinforce the landform information that has been learned. In addition, by filling in maps, students can identify landforms and answer questions.  But the best way to learn about any geographic concept is to get outside to explore. Discussing landforms as you observe nature is likely to aid in your students' retention of information.

Landforms and Water Forms Lesson Plans:

Fairly Simple Geology Exercises has students learn how to read a topographic map.  It can be difficult to decipher the varying lines and what it means in three dimensional elevations.

Forces of Change studies the process of erosion and weathering.  Children examine how external factors, including earthquakes and normal wind, affect landscapes.

Mapping the Canyon is for grades 9-12.  It concerns mapping the oceanic floor.  It has background information, including handouts.  It is divided up over several days.


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Kristen Kindoll