Continents, Oceans and Landforms

In science, we have been studying systems that we see on our planet. After creating our circle map books and exploring Google Earth, we were pretty easily able to know and identify the 7 continents. In first grade, students are expected to name the 7 continents and know their location. We watched this video as a way to introduce the continents as well as help us remember their names. It’s kind of silly, but it’s fun and the kids seemed to enjoy it 🙂 To practice finding the location of the continents, we explored our large map here in the classroom and completed our own map by painting paper plates, coloring the 7 continents, and gluing them in the general location that we would find them on a map. The last step — labeling the oceans! First grade students are not expected to know the Southern Ocean, but some students wanted to add it as a little bonus 🙂
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After watching a BrainPopJr. video on Landforms, we began to explore different systems we see within each continent. To begin, we talked about the 6 landforms that first graders must know — mountain, valley, plateau, desert, plain, and coast. Each child illustrated a picture and we learned some of the unique traits of each — like how a mountain has a peak, and a plateau has a flat top. We created a Landform dictionary, with definitions and pictures for each type of landform that we are learning about. Check out Charlie’s below….pretty awesome!
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Then things got a little more hands-on. Each child had to create a plate that could hold all 6 of the landforms. The first step was to paint — it was important to remember that some of our landforms are in the desert, we need water for others, etc. It took a little planning! Here are some kids getting their plates prepared…
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Next, construction began. With air-dry clay, we had to make each landform (or some objects that would be clues the landform is what it is — like a cactus in the desert!)
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The final step … some paint to make it look real, and labels!
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This is one of my favorite projects that we do, and our class did not disappoint me — all of the landform plates look amazing!

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