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Mountains Rivers Valleys

Become a mountain, a river, a valley or another natural feature of the earth’s surface as you move about the room to group landforms by common characteristics. Erase and draw a new landform to keep this activity moving. Crayola® Dry-Erase Crayons make this anytime activity colorfully fun!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Investigate geographic landforms. Invite pairs of students to use books, as well as library and Internet resources to define and learn more about major landforms such as a mountain, river, valley, coast, hill, island, lake, ocean, peninsula plain, plateau, river, stream, and waterfall. Post a list of landforms in the classroom.
    2. Ask children to use Crayola® Dry-Erase Crayons to draw and label a landform on an individual dry-erase board.
    3. Challenge students to hold their landforms in front of them and move around to put themselves in groups of landforms that have something in common. Request that each group share the characteristics that their landforms have in common.
    4. Can students form new groups according to a different characteristic their landforms share? How many different groups can they form?
  • Standards

    LA: Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe.

    SCI: Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.

    SS: Locate and distinguish among varying landforms and geographic features, such as mountains, plateaus, islands, and oceans.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

  • Adaptations

    Create a cooperative landscape mural on a large whiteboard using dry-erase crayons. How many landforms can you include in your mural? Color in the entire mural. The teacher can erase small rectangles large enough to label each landform. Challenge individuals and teams to label each landform. Erase the answers and invite others to give it a try.

    Design landform images using warm and cool colors to represent climate in addition to landform.

    Ask children to make up clues about a landform. Write the clue on your individual dry-erase board. Show it to the group. The rest of the children write their answers to the clue on their dry-erase boards and show it to the clue writer. Take turns being the clue writer.

    Explore Geography from A to Z by Jack Knowlton and Harriet Barton to expand your list of landforms to include natural features like badlands and knolls.


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