Take a ride in a 'traveling machine' to learn about the form and function of landforms. Appreciate the beauty and utility of the world's natural features, and see how communities are made unique by the landforms around them. Highlights oceans, rivers, streams, mountains, hills, plains, valleys, plateaus, deserts, islands, and more!
Take a ride in a traveling machine to learn about the form and function of landforms.
- Students will know that a landform is the shape of the surface of the land.
- Students will identify continents as the main areas of land on the earth.
- Students will understand that a mountain is a landform with steep sides and a high elevation. Some of the mountain ranges in North America are the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Also, few animals live on the peaks of mountains because the temperature at the tops of mountains is very cold; in fact, it is so cold at the tops of high mountains that snow never melts, and some mountains even have glaciers.
- Students will know that a hill is a landform that is raised and rounded, often located at the foot of mountains; consequently, they are called foothills. Hills are not as large or tall as mountains.
- Students will realize that valleys are landforms located between mountains or hills. Valleys have mild winters and warm summers. Also, valleys are great places to grow food.
- Students will know that rivers are long, flowing bodies of water that are fed by water from streams and lakes. Water flows down a river until it reaches the mouth, where the water empties out into a larger body of water, like a lake or an ocean. Rivers are great sources of transportation and provide water to grow crops.
- Students will understand that a lake is landform that is completely surrounded by land. There are two types of lakes: fresh water lakes, like the Great Lakes; and saltwater lakes, like the Dead Sea.
- Students will know that a harbor is a protected place on an ocean, sea, or river. Also, a bay is a body of water where the ocean has gone into the land.
- Students will realize that an island is a landform that is smaller than a continent and is completely surrounded by water. The Hawaiian Islands, which were formed by volcanoes, are good examples of islands.
- Students will know that a peninsula is landform shaped much like a finger that is surrounded by water on three sides. Florida is an example of a peninsula; it is connected to land on only one side, and the rest is coast.
- Students will understand that swamps, like the Everglades, are landforms that are very wet and low-lying. Swamps are home to many unique animals and plants.
- Students will realize that a desert is a landform that is a dry, sandy, and rocky area of land. Since it does not rain for weeks or even months in deserts, not many plants or animals live in deserts.
- Students will understand that a plateau is a landform like a mountain but is without a peak. Some rivers and streams run through plateaus and create valleys. These valleys form canyons, like the Grand Canyon. A mesa is a type of plateau that is small and shaped much like a tabletop (mesa means table in Spanish).
- Students will know that plains, or prairies are landforms composed of flat or gently rolling grassy land. The plains are home to over half of all the people in the world, because it easier to build and travel in the plains. Plains have fertile topsoil that can be used to grow food. Also, grassy plains provide food for cattle.
- Before viewing the video
- Anticipatory Set: Show the class a globe. Have the children identify: ocean, river, continent, lake, island, and peninsula. The landforms shown on the video are: mountain, hill, valley, river, lake, gulf, island, volcano, harbor, bay peninsula, desert, plateau, canyon, cliff, mesa, and plain.
- After viewing the video
- Make plans to build a papier-mâché relief map. Younger children might want to do two mountains with a valley and a river between. Give older children a printed list of the preceding landforms. While the video is playing, have the students circle each landform they recognize and star the ones that they like the best. Suggest that the relief map in the video should look like the relief map that will be made in class. Cover a table with a plastic drop cloth. Lay a piece of butcher paper on the table and sketch an outline of the relief map on it. Include a coastline and ocean. Divide the children into groups based on which landform they wish to make (try to keep groups equal). Make each individual landform on separate sheets of foil-covered cardboard. Some students will draw the ocean and coastline on the relief map. After all pieces are constructed, they will be transferred to the class map.
- Have the children tear enough one-inch paper strips to fill several grocery bags. More may be needed if the landforms are large. Make a solution of one part flour to four parts water. Divide this solution into two parts, pouring one half into a large container along with half of the paper strips torn into even smaller pieces. Allow this mixture to sit overnight. Place the other half of the solution into a shallow container. This is for running the paper strips through to bind and smooth the landforms.
- Decide how to make each landform. For example, for the mesa use a rectangular box for the base and cover with the mixture of flour, water, and paper shreds. Then, cover with the paper strips dipped through the tray of solution.
- The landforms will take a long time to dry, but make sure they are completely dry before proceeding.
- Make trays of thick paint available. Have each group paint their piece and then have a group blend the pieces together after they are appropriately transferred to the table.
- Result: an attractive and meaningful landform display and a fun learning experience.
- Bodies of Water
- Land Near Water
- Desert Landforms