Landforms Unit Plan

Unit Plan for Science Grade 5
Title of Unit
Curriculum Area
Developed By
Big Idea
FOSS Landforms
Grade Level
Time Frame
Three Weeks
K. Manzo, C. Kovac, K. Kramer
Landforms are the result of a combination of destructive forces, such as erosion, and constructive forces, such as
deposition of sediments. The surface of the earth changes. Some changes are due to slow processes and others are
due to rapid processes.
Stage 1: Identify Desired Results
Established Goals
Standard: 5.1 (Science Practices) All students will understand that science is both a body of knowledge and an evidence-based,
model-building enterprise that continually extends, refines, and revises knowledge.5.1.A; 5.1.B; 5.1.C; 5.1.D
Standard: 5.2 (Physical Science) All students will understand that physical science principles, including fundamental ideas about
matter, energy, and motion, are powerful conceptual tools for making sense of phenomena in physical, living, and Earth systems
science. 5.2.E
Standard: 5.4 (Earth Systems Science) All students will understand that Earth operates as a set of complex, dynamic, and
interconnected systems, and is a part of the all-encompassing system of the universe. 5.4.B; 5.4.C; 5.4.D; 5.4F; 5.4G
Students will understand …
a model can represent landforms and human structures.
a map can represent landforms and human structures.
a cartographer is a person who makes maps.
maps and models represent features of the earth at a
manageable scale.
a landform is a shape of the earth’s surface.
erosion has two main components: weathering, the breaking
apart of rock structures, and transport, the movement of
materials to new locations .
Essential Questions
1. When do changes on earth
take place?
1. How is a model used to
represent something in the real
2. How do things on earth
2. How is a model like the real
thing and how is it different?
3. How do we explain
3. How is a map like a model?
4. How is a map different from a
5. How can you change the size
of a map without changing the
information given?
6. How does the slope of the
stream table affect erosion and
deposition is the process by which eroded earth materials
settle out in a basin.
water flows downhill.
7. How does the amount of water
that flows through a stream affect
erosion and deposition?
the direction water flows in a stream depends on the barriers
along its course.
8. What variable can you test to
find out more about stream
10. the steepness of a slope of the earth’s surface affects the
amount of erosion and deposition by a stream.
9. How can we make a map that
depicts different elevations of a
11. the quantity of water flowing through a stream channel
affects the amount of erosion and deposition.
10. How can we draw the profile
of a mountain from a topographic
12. humans can make changes to streams and stream channels
that affect the amount of erosion and deposition.
11. What information can we get
from a topographic map?
13. a topographic map uses contour lines to show the shape and
elevation of the land.
12. How do you read a
topographic map?
14. the elevation interval between two contour lines is always the
13. What do the symbols, colors,
and textures on a topographic
map mean?
15. the closer the contour lines, the steeper the slope and vice
16. symbols on topographic maps represent a number of landforms
and other natural and human-made features.
17. a topographic map uses contour lines to show the shape and
elevation of the land.
18. symbols, colors, and textures represent different features and
landforms on a topographic map.
19. aerial photographs display information about landforms and
other features of the earth’s surface.
20. aerial photographs can be used to create maps.
14. What are the similarities and
differences between a
topographic map and an aerial
photo of the same area?
15. Can you make a map from an
aerial photograph?
Students will know…
Students will be able to…
1. a model can represent landforms and human structures.
2. maps can be generated from models.
3. a map can represent landforms and human structures.
4. a cartographer is a person who constructs maps.
5. maps can be transferred from one scale to another.
6. maps have certain advantages over models, for example, they
are much more portable.
7. a landform is a shape of the land.
1. create a three-dimensional model of their school area.
2. experience how maps can be generated from models.
3. learn that models and maps are ways of representing
landforms and human structures.
4. observe and compare features on models and
corresponding maps.
5. use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations
and build explanations: observing, communicating,
comparing, organizing, and relating.
8. erosion involves two processes: weathering & transport.
6. investigate water flow over earth materials in a stream
9. deposition is the process by which eroded earth materials settle
out in another place.
7. observe the processes of erosion, deposition, and stream
10. the flow of water in a stream is affected by barriers in its path
caused erosion and deposition.
8. relate the processes they observe in the stream table to the
processes that created the Grand Canyon.
11. steeper slopes result in faster flowing water, which has more
energy and can carry larger loads of material, increasing in the
amount of erosion and deposition.
9. investigate how slope of the land affects erosion and
12. during a flood, the stream’s velocity increases dramatically,
increasing in erosion and deposition.
13. apply content introduced in previous parts.
14. a topographic map uses contour lines to show the shape and
elevation of the land.
15. the change in elevation between two adjacent contour lines is
always uniform.
16. the closer the contour lines, the steeper the slope and vice
17. a profile is a side view or cross-section of a landform.
18. a profile can be drawn from information given on a
topographic map.
19. all topographic maps use contour lines to show the shape and
elevation of the land.
10. investigate how a flood flow affects erosion and deposition.
11. design and conduct investigations to discover how changes
humans make to stream channels affect stream processes.
12. build a foam mountain and compare it to a real mountain.
13. draw a topographic map and a profile of the model.
14. relate topographic features to symbolic representations on
15. observe and describe the types of information on a
topographic map.
16. compare the Mt. Shasta foam model to the U.S. Geological
Survey topographic map of Mt. Shasta.
17. interpret images on an aerial photograph and compare them
to landforms found on a map.
20. most topographic maps use the same types of symbols to
represent landforms and other human-made and natural
21. a topographic map uses contour lines to show the shape and
elevation of the land.
22. many symbols are used on topographic maps to provide
important information.
23. photographs and topographic maps are two ways to represent
a real place.
24. photographs and topographic maps provide information about
the area they represent.
25. maps can be drawn from aerial photographs.
26. a photograph does not give enough information to make a
complete topographic map.
27. apply concepts concerning landforms and topographic maps
18. create a map of an area using an aerial photograph and a
Stage 2: Assessment Evidence
Performance Task Description
Formative Assessment
teacher observation
student sheets
response sheets
performance assessment
class discussion/participation
Summative Assessment
1) end-of-module assessment
2) portfolio assessment
3) scoring assessment (rubric)
4) teacher-created tests and quizzes
Stage 3: Learning Plan
1. Create a model of school site
2. Trace the locations of landforms and structures on schoolyard model
3. Transfer information to a different scale on paper map grids and create a map key
4. Setup stream tables with earth material
5. Observe the process of erosion
6. Observe the process of deposition
7. Investigate how slope of land affects erosion and deposition
8. Test the effects of different amounts of flowing water
9. Discover how human modifications influence stream processes
10. Present results of #9 to the class
11. Build a model mountain
12. Create a topographic map of the mountain
13. Produce two-dimensional profiles of the foam mountains
14. Interpret a topographic map
15. Read a map’s symbols and language
16. Compare aerial photos to topographic maps and foam mountains
17. Create landform maps using aerial photos
18. Present a topic of study of landforms and topographic maps
FOSS Landforms Kit
paper towels*
transparent tape*
6) colored pencils*
7) dustpan and broom*
8) notebook paper*
9) flip chart*
10) map of the western U.S. or the U.S*
11) clock with a second hand*
12) scratch paper*
13) bleach (optional)*
14) aluminum foil (optional)*
15) permanent marker, fine tip*
16) overhead projector (optional)*
17) transparencies*
18) rulers, 30-cm*
19) paper clips (optional)*
20) transparency pens (optional)*
21) poster board (optional)*
* materials not supplied by Landforms Kit (teacher provided)
Cross – Curricular Learning Activities
Make proportional drawings/maps using a scale (Math/Art)
Pretend there are tiny travelers walking around in the stream table. Describe the landforms and other sights they see.
(Language Arts)
Discuss landform expressions. ex. Make a mountain out of a molehill. (Language Arts)
Research big rivers around the world. Discover information about the rivers’ headwaters, mouths, countries they flow
through, lengths, navigability, and uses. (Social Studies)
Write a stream haiku. (Language Arts)
Draw people profiles. (Art)
Invite a surveyor to the classroom. (Social Studies)
Design a national-park tour package. (Language Arts, Computers)