Welcome to Landform Island!
Do you teach landforms to your second or third grade students? It can be a dry subject to teach, but you can also spruce it up and make it really fun. Let me welcome you to LANDFORM ISLAND! Your students will love this idea and it will be extremely easy for you to teach as well.
To start, you need to teach students all about the various landforms that exist. Rather than watching a video or lecturing your students, let me suggest having students take notes on the landforms by hiding posters/information around the room and having students take on the role of “researchers.” Students will find the landforms, write what they are and sketch a picture on their note-catchers. This is a fun and exciting way to get students up and moving, while they are also learning. Students can work individually or in pairs on this task.
Next, challenge students to create their own island. Tell students to try and combine landforms together that make sense (for example, beach and ocean make sense where beach and valley would not). Rather than telling students what they might find there, have students discuss what animals and plants might be found in those areas. For example, what animals and plants could be found on a beach or in the ocean? What plants would be there? Have students take notes on this. Again, this can be completed individually or in groups based on your students’ learning styles.
Finally, students can sketch, write about and draw their island. Challenge students to include as many landforms as possible and to think of as many appropriate animals and plants as well. Give students plenty of time to work through the process of drafting their poster and writing, and then give them time to edit, publish and share their work. We shared our work with older students and they could NOT have been more excited. Our students picked various animals to create the shape of their islands and we were so impressed with how well they did.
You can also add a STEM component to this project by either having students create their islands out of clay or out of various STEM supplies. Our students LOVED this extension activity and were so excited to work on it each day.
Distance Learning Component:
Looking to have this as an assignment for students to complete at home? No worries! Students have an abundance of options. First, students can either do their research through uploading the posters to Google Classroom or by reading books on the free app, Epic! After students have researching their landforms and have taken notes, they can complete the project as stated above. However, students can even be challenged to make 3D islands out of play-doh, legos or whatever materials they have at home. Out of school? Have them upload a picture and description of their island on any platform you choose.
Snag everything you need to teach this landform unit here! Do you have additional ways that you have taught about landforms in an engaging way? Drop them in the comments below!