Hands-on projects can provide an engaging opportunity to teach landform units to third graders. By creating their own landforms, students will be able to see and learn the visual aspects of a landform. Teach the necessary vocabulary before creating a landform so students are able to identify its features.
Graham Cracker Landforms
Test your third grader's knowledge by having them create landforms with graham crackers and different colored frosting. Write down on the board a certain landform they need to create and give them about five minutes to make it. This activity is not only educational, but it provides students a tasty snack to eat, as well. Once you have assessed each landform, have them enjoy their graham cracker masterpiece. Students can create landforms such as hills with green frosting or waterfalls with the blue frosting.
Construction Paper Landforms
Using blue, brown, green and white construction paper, you can have your students create landform models. Split the children into groups and have each group create a different landform. Using a white paper as a backdrop, students can then cut the construction paper into mountains, water or hills and glue them onto the white paper with rubber cement. Once the groups are finished, you can staple the pages together and create a textured, 3-D landform booklet.
Have your students create a volcanic eruption by using baking soda and vinegar. Create a paper mâche volcano by giving each student a small yogurt container. Layer the paper mâche onto the container, and paint it. Have each student fill the "crater" with warm water. This should be nearly to the top of the small yogurt container. Add one drop of red food coloring to the water and six drops of dish soap. Add two tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of vinegar to create a red "lava" eruption.
Give your students non-toxic clay, such as Play-Doh, in different colors. Write down a specific landform on the board and have the students create it with the Play-Doh. They can use the brown colored Play-Doh as the earth, grey colored dough as mountains or green for hills. This will help them remember specific facts of different landforms.
- Mountain spring image by Ramon Pantalon from Fotolia.com