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World Map and Globe - Lesson 14  (K-3)

Land Elevation
Objectives The students will learn the meaning of land elevation.
  The students will learn that a physical map uses different colors to show different land elevations.
Vocabulary land elevation, physical map
Materials Needed World Political Map, map marker



Ask the students if they have ever been on an elevator. If a student got on the elevator at the ground level what would the elevator do? Emphasize that an elevator goes up - from the ground toward the sky.


Write the word elevation on the board. Elevation means how high something is. The higher the feature is above the ground, the higher is its elevation. A twenty-story building has a high elevation that a two-story building.


Ask the students if the land around them is always level. (no) Ask them to describe a hill and a mountain. Tell the students they can learn about how high the land is by using a physical map. Write the word "physical map" on the board.


Pull down the World Physical Map (This map can be found at the top edge of the World Political Map). Have a student read the definition of a physical map. Land elevation is measured from the surface of the ocean. (This is called sea level.)


Colors are used on a physical map to show land elevation. Use the physical map legend to review with the students the meaning of the colors.


       Dark green means the lowest land elevation.
       Light green means low land elevation.
       Yellow means middle land elevation.
       Light brown means high land elevation.
       Dark brown means the highest land elevation.


Let the students explore the World Physical Map and suggest where the following landform features might be found: hill, valley, coastline.


What types of activities may take place at these landforms?


Lesson  .pdf file (Printable Lesson)

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