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How are landforms such as mountains and valleys drawn on maps? Learn about landforms and how to draw a topographical map, using lines to show elevation.
The ongoing challenge for every realistic artist is how to make an object drawn on a flat piece of paper look three-dimensional. This is the same challenge faced by cartographers, the people who draw maps. Most people want to know the variations of ground heights before they set out on a hike, dig a tunnel, excavate for a road, or build a house.
Topographical maps show the features of the earth's surface in a number of different ways. On early maps, hills and other features were simply drawn in. Now some maps vary in colors to indicate land features such as mountains or streams. Contour lines on maps join points at the same height in concentric circles. They show not only height but grade (how steep an elevation is) as well. The closer together the circles are, the steeper the elevation.
Contour lines can add dimension to a collage. Invite students to experiment with the optics of lines to see how this works. Tear or cut interesting shapes from colorful construction paper. Using a Crayola® Glue Stick, attach collage pieces to a large white paper. Leave open spaces between the shapes.
Encourage students to take note that the white spaces create new shapes. With Crayola Fine Line Markers, outline the insides of the open spaces. With different colors, draw parallel lines inside the outlines, getting smaller and smaller in the same way as contour lines.
Students look at the lines in their collages. Comment on how the lines make the spaces move either in and down or up and out.
People around the world give thanks for their food. Celebrate a harvest of pineapples, pumpkins, or pomegranates-and sho
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