Friday, January 16, 2015

12 Days of Oregon Landforms

In second grade, students are currently working on:

2ESS2-2: Develop a model to represent 
the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
This standards intertwines the scientific practice of modeling, the crosscutting concept of finding that landforms are shaped in certain ways all over the Earth by wind and water in repeatable patterns, and the core idea of creating and reading maps that show where land and water are located. In order to prepare for building their own landscape model of Oregon, they have spent the past weeks learning about the features of different landforms and finding examples of these landforms in Oregon.

They have read books like The 12 Days of Christmas in Oregon and What is a Landform?

to give them ideas to get them started. The teachers also engaged students in helping them create a pictorial of Oregon using the different features and examples they have learned about in the past weeks. 
The next step will be for students to make their own two dimensional pictorial and eventually make their own three dimensional model.

When I observed Melanie Fielder's second grade class, her class was creating the pictorial on the right. The class could easily answer that landforms were "anything naturally formed by the Earth."

They also generated several examples of landforms found in Oregon such as, "Sea Lion CavesCrater Lake-volcanoesOregon Coast, and the Columbia Gorge. Some of the features were already on the pictorial and some were added as their conversation went on. As students identified and described the different landforms, the corresponding text was added to their pictorial. Here were some of the landforms they talked about and gave an example of where we would find that landform in Oregon.
Mountain Range (Cascade Range)-many of our mountains are volcanoes; feature: rise high in the sky (10,000 ft or higher); usually have peaks (Crater Lake is an exception)
Glaciers -frozen freshwater (Mt. Hood)
Coastline-covered with sand/pebbles/rocks, where the ocean meets the beach
Waterfalls-flows over a cliff or down a slope (Silver Falls)
Rivers-flow to the ocean usually but some do not due to dams/reservoirs (Gale’s Creek & Tualatin River)
Ocean-large body of water that contains saltwater and covers most of the Earth (Pacific)
Lake-water collects in a valley (Hagg)
Hill-rounded on top (Portland)
Plains-mostly flat (Eastern Oregon)
Cliffs-steep rocky ledge (Gorge & Coast)

After talking about waterfalls, rivers, and oceans, students stopped to compare and contrast that rivers and waterfalls had fresh water while the ocean had salt water. They also noted that the ocean is a much larger body of water than a river or waterfall but also found the common thread that waterfalls flow into rivers which flow into the ocean.

To conclude the lesson, students were suppose to think of their favorite landform and then use gestures, examples, descriptions, or clues to get their table partners to guess which landform was their favorite.

Next time you are out and about with your children, try to identify the different landforms that you pass in your travels. Planning a vacation this summer? As you can see, we have several landforms that you can see at state or national parks or monuments like Crater Lake or Mt. St. Helen's. Check out their links to get ideas!