Interactive Landform Games

Review landforms with engaging games.

Landforms are the naturally occurring geographic features that dot Earth's terrain. Students commonly learn about basic landforms in elementary school. After learning about these landforms, students can more effectively recognize landforms that exist in their geographic area or those that they encounter while touring the great outdoors. Teachers can cement their students' understanding of landforms by engaging them in games designed to test their understanding of these geographic features.

1 Landform Picture Hunt

Allow students to practice pairing landform names with pictures of landforms of that type by engaging them in a landform picture hunt. To prepare for this activity, obtain pictures of common landforms such as hills, mountains, and plateaus. Print copies of these pictures and place them on the walls around your room. When students arrive in class, divide them into four teams. Seat each team together in one quadrant of the room, ensuring that each team has equal access to the pictures on the walls. Tell the students that you will say the name of a landform and one person from each team must go to the wall, collect a picture containing that landform, and bring the picture to you. The first team to bring you a picture of the correct landform earns a point. After explaining, begin the game, moving through the different landforms one at a time. Record the points as the teams earn them. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

2 Clay Landforms

Challenge students to demonstrate their landform knowledge by recreating a landform out of clay. To prepare for this activity, write common landforms on slips of paper and place the slips of paper into a hat or basket. Purchase clay or borrow some from the art department. Place the basket containing the slips and your collection of clay on a desk in the front of the room.

When students arrive in class, ask a student to volunteer. Have the volunteer come to the front of the room and draw a slip of paper containing a landform. Set a timer for 60 seconds, and ask the student to quickly use the provided clay to recreate the landform he drew. As he builds, his classmates should call out names of landforms that he may be creating. If a peer guesses the landform before 60 seconds have passed, reward the student with a prize. Allow the student who guessed the landform correctly to come up and draw the next slip of paper.

3 Landform Memory

Test students' understanding of the definitions for different landforms by creating a landform memory game. To create this game, write the names of landforms on index cards. On separate index cards, write the definition of each landform you listed on your first set of index cards.

When students arrive in class, spread these cards out, face down, in front of them. Allow students to take turns turning up two cards at a time. If a student turns up a matching landform name and definition, he earns a point and those paired cards are removed from the playing field. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.