Our Landforms lesson plan teaches students about landforms, including what they are, the different types, and the characteristics of each type. Students practice identifying different landforms and bodies of water based on the characteristics described during the lesson.

The “Options for Lesson” section contains a few suggestions for alternative or additional activities you can incorporate into the lesson if you want. One such suggestion is to create 10 different groups of students and have each research and build a different landform to present to the class. Another option is to have students identify different landforms from an age-appropriate movie that displays different ones throughout.

Sign Up to Download


What our Landforms lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Landforms explores the many unique features that create the earth. Students will discover many physical traits and other qualities of these different places. They will learn about mountains, hills, and valleys, as well as about oceans, rivers, and lakes. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. You will need to provide a few supplies for this lesson: colored pencils, construction paper, glue or tape, scissors, string, scratch paper, and other materials you want to include.

Options for Lesson

There are many suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section that you can incorporate into the lesson plan if you wish. One suggestion is to provide extra supplies and materials for students to create 3D models of their landforms for the activity. Another idea is to create 10 groups of students and have each group research and build a different landform. Each group would present their 3D model and what they learned about their landform. You could also send a letter home to parents asking for volunteers to speak to the class about places they’ve been, such as mountains, deserts, or other landforms. Another option is to choose an age-appropriate movie that shows various landforms and have students identify them as they show up on screen. One more idea is to complete the practice page as a class aloud.

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page provides a little extra information on what to expect from the lesson plan. It suggests you use a world map to display various landforms throughout the world that students can identify. You can use the blank lines on this page to write down any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare the lesson.


This lesson contains three pages of content. The first page describes what landforms are and how there are many types that dot the surface of Earth. Students will discover what types of things create a landform, such as dirt and rocks, and even ice or volcanoes.

The next two pages describe 10 types of landforms that are very common. Students will learn the traits of plateaus, coastal plains, deserts, islands, and more. Each landform or water body provides examples for students to reference. For instance, the lesson describes how the state of Hawaii is a chain of islands, which are small lands surrounded by water. It also mentions how some cities are islands as well, such as Key West, Florida.


The Landforms lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each handout helps students demonstrate what they learned throughout the lesson in different ways and reinforces their grasp of the material. Use the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to give students each worksheet throughout the lesson.


Students will use the supplies you give them to create a poster that displays each of the 10 landforms. They should do their best to draw them as they appear in nature. After the pictures are complete, they will label the landform and write one place in which they would find it. For instance, they could write that they would likely find an island off the coast of some country.


For the practice worksheet, students will first match descriptions to the correct term from the word bank. There is a total of 10 statements and words to match. Next, they will read five definitions and match them to the correct term in the word bank.


There are a few sections on the homework assignment. The first section requires students to look at 10 pictures and write which landform each one represents. The second section requires them to decide whether each of eight statements is true (T) or false (F). Finally, students will list the 10 landforms in order from their most to least favorite.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The final few pages of the document are answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets. All the correct answers are in red, which makes it easy to compare to the responses from your students. Students’ answers should mirror those on these pages with the exception of the last section of the homework worksheet. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade



State Educational Standards

Social Studies Grade 1: b.6.A, Social Studies Grade 2: b.6.A, Social Studies Grade 3: b.7.C

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.