Title: The great topo race306

Key words: contour, topography, place, maps

National and state standards: National #3, State # 10.10.3

Teaching level: high

Objective/purpose: The student will:
1.be able to read a topographic map to identify physical and human features
use geographic representations, tools, and technologies to answer geographic questions.
: Cardboard, scissors, glue

Discuss the word topographic with the students. Remind them that there are several types of maps that have a variety of functions. Specifically a topo map is a representation of a three dimensional surface a flat piece of paper.
Tell the students that they will be creating a three dimensional island from cardboard. This island should have at least one mountain peak as it is volcanic in nature. This island must also sustain human life.
Group the students and have them start building their island. They must follow the rules of contouring (see attached). Indicate that they must not glue the layers of cardboard down at this point.
Once they have completed their island they need to take each layer and lie them down on a piece of paper and trace them. They should do this for every piece.
When this is completed the students will have a topographic map. They then will create a key to enliven the island to make it their own, they can create a self-sustaining community.

Evaluation/assessment: This whole lesson is an assessment in itself. After they have finished with their islands a standard test on contouring would be appropriate.

Reflection: How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you.
The authors.

Addendum to 306

The absolute rules for contouring:

Lakes are flat, they can not go across contour lines.

Rivers flow downhill, they do cross lines., and the lines bend upstream where they cross.

The sea is at sea level.

Contour lines are always closed .

Every point on a contour line is the same number of feet above sea level.

Contour lines must be close enough to show contours, but far enough apart to avoid crowding.

NOTE: Asking a student which way a stream flows can help determine whether the student is reading the contour lines correctly. However, some relatively mature streams and rivers do have a contour cross on a given quadrangle--the contours may run parallel for miles.

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Original file name: 306 (Converted) - converted on Tuesday, 20 October 1998, 20:56

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