Describe the Earth's surface

Describe the Earth's surface

I can identify and describe different features on the Earth's surface.

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Describe the Earth's surface

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In this lesson, students will learn about different features on the Earth’s surface and what makes each unique or important. They’ll be able to differentiate between water features and land features. The lesson includes a matching activity and riddles for students to solve.


2-ESS2-1; 2-ESS2-2; 2-ESS2-3

Learning Objective

Students will be able to describe the different land and water features of the Earth’s surface.


Students talk to a partner and describe the land in their community. For example, is there a beach nearby? Maybe mountains on the horizon? How is the land in other places different than the one they live in? Show some pictures of landforms on Earth and ask students if they can identify them.


Explain that Earth has both water features and land features. Move the images to the side to see some examples of each. Go over some examples of water features and describe them. These include oceans, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and waterfalls. Next, teach students about land features including mountains, hills, plateaus, valleys, canyons, islands, and peninsulas. Show students some pictures of each. Then students will draw a line to match the pictures to the correct word. Finally, read the riddles and see if students can use their knowledge to solve them!


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true/false questions. They will be given a description and they must decide which of Earth’s features is being described.


Review Earth’s features with the class and have students provide some examples of land and water features. Then students spin the wheel and take turns describing the feature they land on.

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