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Activity Overview

Using visual vocabulary boards helps students retain information and allow them to show what they know in a creative manner. For this activity, students will create a spider map that defines and illustrates 3-5 types of landforms. Their finished product should have an illustration that accompanies each definition.

Types of Landforms

CanyonA deep narrow valley with steep sides and often with a stream flowing through it
Cape A point of land that extends out into the sea or a lake
DeltaWetland that forms as rivers empty their water and sediment into another body of water
Desert Dry land with few plants and little rainfall
GlacierA large body of ice moving slowly down a slope or valley or spreading outward on a land surface
Island An area of land surrounded by water and smaller than a continent
IsthmusA narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas
Mountain A large natural elevation of the earth's surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill
PeninsulaA piece of land nearly surrounded by water or sticking out into the water
Plain A broad area of level or rolling treeless country
PlateauA broad, flat area of high land
Hill Rounded height of land lower than a mountain
Rainforest An often tropical woodland with a high annual rainfall and very tall evergreen trees with tops that form a continuous layer
Savannah A grassland (like in eastern Africa or northern South America) containing scattered trees
SwampAn area of land that is permanently saturated or filled with water
Valley An area of lowland between ranges of hills or mountains
VolcanoA vent in the earth's crust from which melted or hot rock and steam come out

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a 3-5 cell spider map that defines and illustrates different landforms.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the landforms you have chosen.
  3. In the description boxes, write the definition of the landform.
  4. Create an illustration for each landform using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Switch to: Common CoreArizonaCaliforniaColoradoFloridaGeorgiaIowaKansasMarylandMassachusettsNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioOklahomaPennsylvaniaTexasUtah


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Visual Vocabulary Assignment
Define, illustrate, and give an example sentence for any five vocabulary words.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
The definition is correct.
The definition is partially correct.
The definition is incorrect.
The storyboard cells clearly illustrate the meaning of the vocabulary words.
The storyboard cells relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words, but are difficult to understand.
The storyboard cells do not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words.

How To Help Students Conduct a 3D Project for Landforms


Explain the Details

Begin by explaining to the students what they will be doing for this project. For instance, students will make a 3D project for a landform, explain its significance, and add all other related details and factual information. This project will help students in performing research and looking closely at the environment.


Select a Landform

Ask the students to select a landform for their project. Some viable options are volcano, island, canyon, and delta. Students can also make this a working project, for instance, an exploding volcano or a melting glacier. This will make the projects more interesting as well as engaging. Encourage the students to add as many creative elements as they want and use their imagination.


Map Out Details

Help the students map out the details they need to focus on for the project. For instance, what materials they require, what kind of research they need to perform and how will they present the project. Students can use mind maps or spider webs for this mapping to make the process smooth and easier.


Encourage Collaboration

Encourage the students to perform the project in groups. Teachers can also keep a winning incentive for the students which will promote collaboration and motivate the students to win. Working together will help the students build on each other's ideas and induce collaborative learning.


Organize an Exhibition (Optional)

After students are done with their projects, select a day to exhibit their projects. Teachers can invite external evaluators such as other teachers, principals, or maybe even an outside guest such as an environmentalist. Students can set up their projects on different tables and present them to the guests turn by turn.

Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Landforms Vocabulary

How many different types of landforms are there?

There are many different types of landforms present throughout this world but they can be categorized in different forms. Some main categories include mountains, valleys, islands, plateaus, canyons, plains, deserts, peninsulas, delta, etc. There are many other landforms that students can explore with the help of books and different tools available on the internet.

Describe a desert.

A desert is a dry, sparsely vegetated region that is frequently distinguished by high-temperature changes and little precipitation. Deserts are a habitat for many animals and plants and act as a carbon sink for the environment.

What sort of landform is a peninsula?

An area of land known as a peninsula is one that is nearly totally encircled by water and is joined to the mainland by a short stretch of land. Some examples include the Arabian Peninsula and the Iberian Peninsula.

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