Landslides introduces students to this fairly common natural event. Students will learn all about the five main types of landslides and what causes them. They will discover many interesting facts and familiarize themselves with prevention methods and effects.

The “Options for Lesson” section offers several fun suggestions to add to or alter your lesson delivery. One option is to get soil, sand, rocks, water, and other things to simulate various types of landslides. Another idea is to have students create a quiz based on the information they researched about landslides. You can collect their quizzes and create a single test for everyone to take.

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What our Landslides lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Landslides teaches students about the different types of landslides. Students will discover a number of causes, effects, and prevention methods. They will learn how to identify different types based on their traits. They will also discuss some notable landslide events in history. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade and 4th 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. For this lesson, the only other supplies you will need in addition to copies of the worksheets are poster paper, colored pencils or markers, or other supplies you think students could use for the posters.

Options for Lesson

There are several suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section that you could incorporate into the lesson if you want to extend it or have extra time. Students could create quizzes based on the information they found as they researched their landslide. You can collect all the quizzes and create a single test out of them to distribute to the class. Another option is to get soil, sand, rocks, and other debris and collect various containers and water to simulate different types of landslides. Use YouTube videos to show students examples of real landslides and their effects. One more idea is to invite an engineer to talk to the class about ways to prevent landslides.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page gives you a little extra guidance or information on what to expect from the lesson plan. It mentions that you could use this lesson in conjunction with others that relate to natural disasters, flooding, and similar topics.


There are five pages of content in this lesson. Students first learn what a landslide is and why they occur. They will learn about three major conditions that hint at the possibility of an event and six causes.

Next they will discuss the five different types of landslides. The lesson lists a few facts about each one. Finally, they will learn the effects of a landslide and discover that they can be minor or deadly. The lesson details a few major events, including a landslide in Santa Barbara County, CA, that killed 17 people.


The Landslides lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. These exercises will help reinforces students’ grasp of the lesson content and allow them to demonstrate what they learned. The guide on the classroom procedure page outlines when to hand out each page to the students throughout the lesson.


The worksheet states that students would work with partners for the activity, but you can have them work alone or in groups if you prefer. The worksheet contains instructions for creating a poster. Students will use various supplies and work with their partners to create a poster that displays information on the landslide you assign. The poster should include step-by-step drawings, relevant vocabulary, and a catchy title. You will grade the posters at the end.


There are two sections on the practice worksheet. For the first section, students will match definitions to the correct terms. There is a total of 15 questions and terms to match. The second section requires students to fill in the blanks. There are five total questions in this section.


Similar to the practice worksheet, the homework assignment divides into two sections. The first section requires students to match statements to the type of landslide cause to which it relates. This section contains 10 questions total. For the second section, students will decide whether the statements are true (T) or false (F). There are 10 questions in this section as well.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The last two pages are answer keys for the practice worksheet and homework assignment. The correct answers are in red to make it easier for you to compare them to your students’ responses. Given the nature of the questions on both assignments, students’ answers should mirror those on the answer keys. 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


3rd Grade, 4th Grade



State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1.C, LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.6

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.