Topography and Satellite ImagesSTEP Participant home page
- Students may not recognize that the colors in a topographic map are related to altitude and may think they are temperature, water/continents, etc.
- Students have difficulty understanding contour lines and interpreting topographic data
- Play-doh topographic Maps
Students make a clay model volcano, and then create a topographic map of it.
- Topographic Salad-Tray Model
Use salad tray lids to mark the different contour lines, creating a 3D topographic map.
- Highs and Lows, floods and flows
This activity provides an introduction to topographic maps, using Mars data.
- Blue Marble Matches
Examine and identify features of Earth using satellite images.
- Reading Topographic and Satellite Maps
This activity uses the online USGS Earth Explorer tool to examine topographic maps and satellite views of landforms in Texas. Created by STEP member Sudeshna Lahiry working with Christine Shupla
- Weathering Rocks
Students model how water can weather and break down rocks, using frozen blocks of sand and water.
- USGS Activity Sheet—How to Read a Topographic Map
- Map Matching Worksheet
- Exploring Earth has some online interactives related to topography
- Think-Pair-Share questions
- Formative Assessment Probe
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