Lesson 3: Landforms

Day 2

Activity 4: Valleys and Canyons

Materials: Geography of the World by DK Publishing, The Geography Book: Activities for Exploring, Mapping, and Enjoying Your World by Caroline Arnold, 3' long length of rubber hose or flexible plastic tubing, Access to a sandbox, sand table, beach, or other sandy area, Pitcher
In this activity, you'll have the chance to see how the flow of water can create valleys and canyons on the Earth's surface. Read pages 56-57 of The Geography Book to learn more about valleys and canyons. Do the erosion demonstration described in the book. If you have access to a length of rubber hose or plastic tubing, you can complete the full demonstration. If you have only a sand pile and a bucket of water, you can still try the second step in which you pour water over a hill of sand to see what happens as the water runs down the pile.

You may have seen examples of water washing away soil in your own yard or a community park. The next time it rains, watch for examples of erosion. Can you think of any ways to prevent erosion in those situations?

Based on your reading, the demonstration with sand and water, and your own observations, complete the "Erosion" activity page.
Student Activity Page
In this activity, your child will have the chance to see the impact of erosion first-hand by pouring a bucket of water over a pile of sand. If you have access to a funnel and a length of rubber hose or flexible plastic tubing, your child will also be able to see how directing the flow of water can prevent erosion. This activity can, however, be completed without the hose or tubing if those supplies are unavailable.

Activity 5: The Flow of Water

Materials: The Geography Book: Activities for Exploring, Mapping, and Enjoying Your World by Caroline Arnold, 2' x 3' board, Non-toxic modeling clay
Read pages 66-68 of The Geography Book to learn more about rivers. Follow the instructions on page 67 of the book; you will use water, a flat board, and some modeling clay to experiment with how the slope of the land and local landforms can affect the flow of rivers.
The Geography Book mentions that many cities are built on rivers. Complete the "Cities on Rivers" activity page to identify some major cities in the United States that are built on rivers.
Student Activity Page
In this activity, your child will experiment with how the slope of the land and the landforms surrounding flowing water can change the water's flow. She will also identify major cities in the United States that are located along rivers and think about why people may choose to create cities near rivers.

Activity 6: Deltas

Materials: Geography of the World by DK Publishing, The Geography Book: Activities for Exploring, Mapping, and Enjoying Your World by Caroline Arnold
Read page 68 of The Geography Book, focusing on the two gray boxes labeled "The Mighty Mississippi" and "Deltas."

Next, read about three major delta areas in The Geography of the World: the deltas of Bangladesh (p. 169), the Mekong River delta in Vietnam (pp. 188-189), and the Nile River delta in Egypt (pp. 214-215).

Complete the "Deltas" activity page to record your observations about deltas.
Student Activity Page
Your child will explore river deltas in this activity and read about specific deltas in Asia and Africa. You may wish to extend this activity by doing some research with your child on the Mississippi River delta in the United States.