Wrapping Up Our Landforms Unit + A Writing Freebie

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know my most favorite unit this time of year is all about Landforms!

We started with making landforms on paper plates like we did last year (read all about that HERE):

We then played Bingo as a group with my Landforms Poster & Bingo Packet HERE.

In an effort to stretch this unit out even more, I added a writing component that came out *way* better than I had expected, and I am so excited to be sharing it with you!

Since kids had spent so much time on their landforms project, and I wanted to mini-assess their knowledge of cardinal directions and persuasive writing, I first had them add a compass (using a white circle sticker and a thin Sharpie) to their plates:

We then talked all about what made our lands the very best and how we could persuade others to come visit. Since we are fortunate enough to live in beautiful Colorado, it didn't take much to get kids imagining the reasons why someone would want to visit their lake, what they could see from the top of their mountain, how they could spend their time in the valley, etc.

I had them brainstorm using their plates as reference and talk with a partner, practicing not just why someone would want to visit their land, but describing how they could get around using North, South, East & West in their directions (Bonus points for the intermediate directions!).

Thinking this would take them a quick second, I passed out the simple publishing paper:

I am not exaggerating that 30 minutes later, I *still* had kids writing-- most of them on their second page and some even on their third.... whoa!!!!

The "rules" were they had to use:

  • Correct capitalization & punctuation-- capital letters are nowhere to be found this year, thus my newest product, so needless to say, it's #1 on ever.single.assignment ;) ;)
  • Cardinal directions to describe their landforms' locations
  • Every landform on their plate should be included in their writing in some way-- most kids had about 12, so even if they mentioned "walking across the plain" I was okay with it :)

The best part? Because they were so invested in these landforms plates, their writing carried so much Voice and amazing Word Choice, I could have *never* taught it any better in a mini-lesson!

Lesson Learned: Incorporate more purposeful, *fun* writing around these hands-on projects and remember to have kids share, share, share!! :)

If you're interested in this publishing paper (cute borders from Krista Wallden, fonts by Jennifer Jones, and clip art by Scrappin' Doodles), you can find it in Google Docs HERE.

I hope you and your kids enjoy this project as much as mine did! Have a wonderful week ahead!


  1. What a great way to sneak in some writing! My kids reeeeeally need some practice with writing and I love that you had a language arts & social studies lesson at the same time - smart thinking! Thanks for sharing :)

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  2. What a great activity! And-after spending the weekend in your beautiful state, it would not be hard to persuade me to come back :) When I do- we will definitely meet up!! Your students' projects turned out great!!!
    Fun in Room 4B

  3. Wow! This looks like so much fun. Your kids must have been so proud of their landform projects.

  4. Oh my gosh I love landforms!! Have you ever done the edible landforms? Amazing!

  5. I am so thankful for EVERYTHING you make available to teachers-- especially as a first year 3rd grade teacher!! I was so afraid to attempt this, but with your wonderful guidance, I was able to incorporate the 7 Habits into this project and it made everything run a lot more smoothly. The minute I brought out the modeling clay, I heard shouts of gratitude from my kiddos. They were so excited for this project. I love how you broke down each day for us -- that really helped me teach it in a clear way and none of us, (especially me) got overwhelmed! We finished labeling today and have moved on to the persuasive writing piece. I am as obsessed with this project as my kids are. It really made what we have been learning about landforms come alive. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!