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Science - 5th Grade
Standard 2 Objective 3
1 class periods of 45 minutes each
Topographic maps are used to locate examples of various landforms, such as volcanoes and mesas. Students are asked to relate the building up and breaking down of the Earth's surface over time to the various land forms.
For the each student:
Topographic maps show the shape (elevation differences) of the land surface through the use of contour lines, which are lines connecting points on the earth's surface that have the same elevation. Where contour lines are closely spaced, the terrain is steep. The more closely spaced, the steeper the slope. Conversely, gentle ground slopes are portrayed by contours spaced widely apart. Landforms can be identified on topographic maps. In this activity, mesas, buttes, and volcanoes can be identified.
Give the students a copy of the Topography Map-Teacher Key and have them identify the cliff (d), mountain (c), gentle slope (e), butte (b), and mesa (a). For each of the landforms identified the students should write a sentence identifying how it could have been formed.