Here is the third blog in my mini science blog series. A few days ago, I blogged about Weather and Habitats with ideas for the classroom. This post is all about teaching landforms with experiments, resources, and of course a freebie!
In this blog post, I will break down your landforms unit into three sections:
- Learning about landforms
- Testing out new knowledge about landforms
- Proving our new knowledge about landforms
1. Introduction to Teaching Landforms:
Let’s begin by discussing a few fun ways to teach students about landforms. I love introducing all science topics with a BrainPop Jr. video.
(Source: Brain Pop Jr.)
I don’t think teaching a science unit without a BrainPop Jr. video is possible. My students always truly responded to Annie and Moby. It reviews a few of the different landforms, talks about what a landform is, and discusses a few ways they’re caused.
(Source: Around the Kampfire)
You’ve gotta love a collection of books. Head to your local library and rent out a ton of books on landforms. Put them in the students reading centers or in the middle of their tables for early finishers. Letting the students explore these books and get great visuals is an awesome opportunity to extend your unit.
Here are links to a few of my favorites. Each of these links are affiliate links to Amazon:
- What is a Landform? by Louise Spilsbury
- U.S. Landforms by Dana Meachen Rau
- What is a Landform? by Rebecca Rissman
- Introducing Landforms by Kelley MacAulay
- Earth’s Landforms and Bodies of Water by Natalie Hyde
Another way to introduce landforms is to break apart each landform into different mini units. I like to teach one landform every couple of days during my unit. Students may learn about canals on Monday and Tuesday, then we will shift to valleys on Wednesday and Thursday. I’ve created a Teaching Landforms unit, which covers twelve individual landforms. (canyon, canal, delta, glacier, island, mountain, peninsula, plateau, volcano, isthmus, river)
Each individual landform has several learning pages to help supplement your landform unit.
- -KWL Chart
- Reading Passage
- Fact Writing
- Information Map
- Informational Writing
- True or False Cutting Page
I also have another landform resource to help teach students about landforms. I have a set of flip books available. These help the students with quick learning! These flip books can be used at the end of the unit or throughout. There is one big flip book for landforms in general. Then, there are mini flip books for specific flip books.
One more thing to help introduce landforms to students! AND IT’S FREE! If you sign up for my email list, you can receive a collection of landform images plus a quick write-up about each one. This freebie is perfect for creating anchor charts or playing memory games with your students. Download that freebie by signing up for my email list here.
2. Testing Out New Knowledge About Landforms:
(Source: The Chaos and the Clutter– left) (Source: Playdough to Plato– right)
There are cheap, fun ways to teach how hills, mountains, and plateaus happen. These two ideas are also fantastic for teaching about the more difficult science topics like plate tectonics.
(Source: Chalk Talk)
I love this cheap idea for reviewing landforms. You don’t get to cover all the landforms, but you cover quite a few and the kids will gain a great understanding of how all the landforms work together.
(Source: Brinca into Bilingual)
These two images show one creative teacher’s activities during her landforms unit. The kiddos make a layered construction paper craft that shows different heights and characters of different landforms. She also had students make dioramas with play-doh.
3. Proving New Knowledge from Teaching Landforms:
(Source: Landform Unit)
At the end of the landform unit I created, there are a few review pages that mix all of the landforms together. This would be a great opportunity to test the students on the landforms they’ve learned so far!
(Source: Landform FREEBIE)
Remember that freebie I discussed earlier? You can also use the cards as a way of testing your kiddos on their new landforms knowledge. As a type of review game, you can use this freebie in two ways. One way is to create a matching game where they have to match the landform image to the landform description. Another way to use the freebie is to create an anchor chart template and have the students ‘complete’ the anchor chart for you. They could even make the anchor chart themselves.
Download that here.
Resources for Teaching Landforms
Here are the two resources that I discussed throughout the blog post. One is a no-prep resource pack that covers 12 different landforms, plus a few review worksheets in the back that cover them altogether. There is also the set of flip books that cover 8 landforms!