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Let Me Tell You About…

Classmates collaborate to illustrate—and then present a mock talk show—about a country’s land formations and features. Prepare bright neon topographical maps and a riveting script!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. When investigating the make up of the globe, invite student teams of 2 to focus on one country. What can you learn about a country from a relief or topographical map? How have natural forces and humans shaped the landscape? With a partner, create a topographical map of a country of your choice. Find where towns and cities are located among mountain ranges, on plateaus or plains, or on lowlands near water. Discover more about the country’s location and physical characteristics as you prepare to report your findings in a talk-show format.
    2. Ask student teams to make a topographical map. Using Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils, outline a large map of the country on paper. Indicate neighboring countries or bodies of water. With Crayola Glue Sticks, attach the map to cardboard. To show oceans, lakes, and rivers, fill those areas with blue neon Crayola Model Magic®.
    3. Choose more neon colors to represent other land elevations. Add lowlands to the relief map. For plateaus and mountains, add extra layers of Model Magic to build height, changing colors according to the elevation. Pinch up mountains to their relative height.
    4. Label the features. Draw small paper flags, cut them out with Crayola Scissors, and color them. Erase the name or other information you want on the flag. Leave erased areas white or fill with contrasting colors. Words can be oultined. Use Crayola School Glue to attach flags to toothpicks. Air-dry the glue. Place flags into the Model Magic in their correct positions. Add a color key.
    5. Student teams write a talk show script to inform classmates about the country's terrain and geography. Present it to the class in a compelling way to spark more interest in the country.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.

    SCI: Obtain information about the locations of a variety of Earth’s features and map the geographic patterns that emerge.

    SCI: Analyze maps and other data to determine the likelihood of geological hazards occurring in an area and evaluate the possible effects on landforms and organisms.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Introducing Landforms by Bobbie Kalman; Geography from A to Z: A Picture Glossary by Jack Knowlton; The Seven Continents by Wil Mara; What Is a Landform? By Rebecca Rissman

    In small groups, students discuss the purpose of topographical, or relief, maps. Students compare these to flat maps.

    As a class, students draw a Peter's Projection world map on a large outdoor area using Crayola Sidewalk Chalk or Sidewalk Paint. Students mark all countries, rivers, capitals, oceans, and other major features.

    Students work in teams of two or small groups to investigate a particular landform. Research the type of feature and how it may have changed over the past hundreds of years. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Students create a topographical map of their hometown or a local city. Include all appropriate landforms.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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