Title of Lesson: landforms

Subject Area: Social Studies

Grade Level: second


Materials Needed:


  1. Lead a discussion on the subject of landforms. Ask the class who knows what landforms are. Identify landforms near their home or landforms they are familiar with.
  2. Explain to the class that in pioneer times, there weren't maps like there are today. Many maps consisted of landforms. People found out where they were by the shape of the mountains, the type of vegetation growing in the area, etc.
  3. Read sample stories from I Walked to Zion and how they identified when they came to certain landforms.
  4. Explain to the class that they are going to walk through some of the steps of the pioneers by studying the various landforms and landmarks along their way. Have each child pick a partner. Together they will draw one of the following landmarks the pioneers came in contact with on their west.
  5. The students are then in charge of researching the item they picked and presenting it to the class.
  6. The teacher will pick a class period for the projects to be due. The students will then present their item to the class, state its importance to the pioneers, draw or make a model of it, and plot its location on the map.
The following items are topics which the students can choose from:
  • Scotts Bluff
  • Courthouse Rocks
  • 3 island crossing
  • Ft. Bridger
  • South Pass
  • Chimney Rock
  • Sweetwater River
  • Missouri River
  • Devil's Gate
  • Badlands
  • Skunkweed
  • Sagebrush
  • Thistle
  • Massacre Rocks