From Coast to Coast

From Coast to Coast lesson plan

Jump into geography and geology by making a book that illustrates natural landforms! Where does the fault lie?

  • 1.

    What do you see when you look out of car, bus, train, or airplane windows? What are the biggest things that change? Is the road always flat and straight? Do you see rock walls? How about bodies of water?

  • 2.

    Imagine that you are a bird. You can see so many things flying in the sky. Pick two points on a map. They can be your hometown and the place where your relatives live -- or any other two places in the world. What land features would you see as you fly from one place to the other Would you see islands? Mountains or hills? Rivers or oceans? Inlets or an isthmus?

  • 3.

    Find maps and pictures of the landforms along the route you would travel. Make a list of the many types of landscapes you could see on your trip. Are there deserts? Glaciers? Faults? Volcanoes?

  • 4.

    On construction paper, draw a picture of each land feature with Crayola® Washable Markers. Label each page with the type of landform and where you would see it on your trip.

  • 5.

    Draw front and back covers for your land features book on construction paper. Give your book a catchy title. Include the author's name (that's you)!

  • 6.

    Place the pages of your book inside its cover. Punch two holes through the pages. Cut two pieces of yarn with Crayola Scissors. Thread yarn through the holes to bind your book.


  • Students identify and describe characteristics of natural landforms such as mountains, islands, rivers, and inlets.
  • Children research information on maps and in pictures about landforms that would be encountered on an imaginary trip from one place to another.
  • Students design a book that illustrates their knowledge of basic features of the Earth's crust on their imaginary travels.


  • Find as many diverse local landforms as possible with your family. Sketch each one. Share your findings with classmates.
  • Discover keys on maps. Develop your own system of keys and map out the school or neighborhood. Add colors and textures to include more detail. See if other classes can read and follow the maps.
  • Research the ideas of scale and compass directions. Draw a local land feature to scale. Use a compass to create a treasure hunt.
  • For younger students or those with special needs, supplement this activity with the idea of different perspectives. Students draw a replica of a mountain (they could make one with paper mache) from different sides. Then students draw the view from that mountain, including themselves drawing the mountain.
  • Read and sing "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie. Use it to build vocabulary with its various references to land features. Map or draw them.