Grade Range
2nd
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Area of Science
Geology
Key Concepts
Landforms, bodies of water
Learning Objectives
  • Identify different landforms and bodies of water from pictures and maps.
  • Describe how landforms differ from each other.
  • Develop a model and map representing landforms and bodies of water.
Credits
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
images showing a lake in a forest on the left and a play dough model of the lake in a forest on the right.

Overview

In this lesson, students will build three-dimensional play dough models from pictures that show various landforms and bodies of water. As they analyze and compare their different models, students will realize that there are many different types of landforms and bodies of water on Earth. Based on their play dough models, students will discuss how various landforms and bodies of water can be represented on a map.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 2-ESS2-2. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Developing and Using Models. Develop a model to represent patterns in the natural world

Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Use observations (firsthand or from media) to describe patterns and/or relationships in the natural and designed world(s) in order to answer scientific questions and solve problems.
ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions. Maps show where things are located. One can map the shapes and kinds of land and water in any area.
Patterns. Patterns in the natural world can be observed.

Materials


 materials for Mapping Landforms lesson plan

For each student group:

  • Play dough (brown, yellow, green, grey, black, white, red, or other nature colors). Have enough for every group to build their model.
  • Printed and cut-out landform pictures

For the teacher:

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Grade Range
2nd
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Area of Science
Geology
Key Concepts
Landforms, bodies of water
Credits
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
Learning Objectives
  • Identify different landforms and bodies of water from pictures and maps.
  • Describe how landforms differ from each other.
  • Develop a model and map representing landforms and bodies of water.
Free science fair projects.