Land Formations


Barbara J. Baker

Doolittle West

521 East 35th Street


(773) 535-1050




This mini-teach is designed for 2nd grade.

The objectives of this mini-teach are:  

1. To develop an understanding of how land is naturally developed


2. To learn about several land formations as well as earth science and chemical terminology


3. To provide opportunities for the students to make models of various types of land and to investigate a case of erosion in the formation of a cave




Commercial clay of green, blue, and gray colors, play dough, pebbles, sand, teas (for shrubbery), food trays, nine 3x5 cards and newspaper (for keeping the desks clean).  A quantity of clay and play dough sufficient for making models of a mountain, lake, bay, gulf, cave, island is needed.




Teacher should introduce the following vocabulary by writing them on the board:

         erosion          rain          wind        glaciers         volcano

         mudslides       snow        island       gulf              cave

         bay              lake         meadow    peninsula       mountain


Students will write the terms down and research pictures that illustrate each term.


Pictures of a cave, an island, gulfs, lakes, and mountains will be circulated, discussed and posted.

Students will work in groups of twos to create a model of a land formation. The teacher’s model of a cave will be viewed and analyzed.  The handout of water going through soil will be distributed to each student.  Students will take turns pouring water over the playdough model of the cave to simulate erosion.


Students will listen to the definitions of 3 types of caves:  limestone, ice and sea caves.    They will also listen to the definitions of a hill and mountain and build models of these as well as caves.


Performance Assessment:


The students are expected to have 95 % accuracy in looking up the words and writing the meanings. Cutting and pasting pictures of the land forms is also acceptable.

The students should show enthusiasm in making the model and successfully completing it.

High interest is evident if students bring in pictures of land formations they have discovered in magazines or newspapers.

Cooperative team effort in making the models is expected from each group. .

Each student will have 3x5 cards to write their names on one side and the types of land formations they see posted on the other side.   Learners will place their cards with the name sides showing with the type of each formation underneath not shown.  Teacher will collect the cards and mark them.

The above assessment could be repeated until everyone receives 95 % accuracy.  Students who

achieved 95 % the first time will tutor those who missed naming the land formations correctly.




Students will understand the differences between pairs of similar landforms such as a hill from a mountain, a meadow from a plain, and a gulf from a bay.  They will understand that the actions of water, air, ice, lava and waves pounding on the rocky shores help in creating caves.  They will know of the chemical substances in a cave like calcium carbonate, carbon dioxide, and the components of stalactites and stalagmites.  The students will learn that chalk is made of (calcium carbonate). We will practice a few chemical formulas such as H20 (water), C02 (carbon dioxide), and CaC03 (calcium carbonate).




Groundwater:  Illinois Buried Treasure Education Activity Guide, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, revised 1995.


Science Projects & Activities, Peter Rillero, 2000. ‘Cave Without A Name-Texas Cave’ July 21, 2000


Science & Technology Encyclopedia