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Landforms In Science

A discussion came up in one of our second grade classrooms this week in regards to the 65 degree temperature that occurred in Antarctica this last week. When the second graders arrived I was ready and waiting to start a new mini-unit that can help my students understand some new vocabulary words along with hands-on activities that can allow them to make the connections they need to start to figure out the why's of the importance in learning about our Earth.

Landforms are one of those topics that at first our second graders and beyond struggle with. Given names to land and water so that we can decipher their similarities and differences. The best part is that at first they might say a park or road is a landform, or even name a landform around where they live, however as they get to see pictures of other habitats or biomes they start to add new vocabulary to their ever growing list.

To help you incorporate landforms into your science/social studies lessons, here are 5 quick activities that I was able to incorporate this week in science in my one hour with my second graders!

Idea 1:
Second graders don't know landform words...I used EPIC Books Landforms by William B. Rice which has some great examples and ways to teach what a landform is.
Landforms (Science Readers: Content and Literacy) by [William B. Rice]

Idea 2:
We then generate a list of words that we heard so far as well as words that describe what land and water words we use around us. We created an anchor chart that can support our new words.

Idea 3: 
We use a landform game that allows for students to get a review of the word landform and what it means. I love using qr codes for the students to access in a game format where they can at their own pace find answers in a scavenger hunt format, write the room format, or even just around the table time.

Idea 4: 
After we review what we found on our QR code activity, we follow up with a quick review from SciShow Kids. These videos are short and packed with a ton of great information, pictures, and vocabulary to support adding to what they already know.

Idea 5:
Now it is time to review again with landform cards that have the picture and words on them. We then set out cubes that they can build the feature that is on the card. We then travel the globe (classroom) to see the different landforms that are found on the Earth's surface.

These ideas help me reinforce the 5 E's of Science...
Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate

Engage them by asking what they know...explore what it means with our book, Explain with our QR codes, Elaborate by creating a 3-D model STEM creation, and I like to finish up by turning over our qr code record sheet and draw me three new words they learned followed by a drawing of each!

These ideas, sheets, cards, and lessons can be found in my landform pack. Find the landform pack here!
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