Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Mountains, and addresses the standard of understanding how Earth’s plate tectonics form mountains. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Prompt students to think of a mountain they’ve seen or hiked. Ask:

  • Describe the mountain. What did it look like? 
  • How do you think the mountain might have been formed? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Mountains topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “In Depth,” “Way Back When,” or “Did You Know.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about mountains while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs 

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a commercial for a National Park that features a mountain. Describe the mountain, and why it’s a great destination. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map comparing different types of mountains and the ways they are formed. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Creative Coding: Code a sorting game challenging players to determine which type of mountain different facts describe. (Essential Literacy Skill: Use domain-specific words and phrases)
  • Primary Source: Examine photos of different mountains, and cite details to answer the accompanying questions. (Essential Literacy Skill: Evaluate content presented in diverse media)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students complete the Mountains worksheet, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Mountains Quiz

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Time Zone X: Mountains: Challenge players to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of mountains with these topics: Plate Tectonics, Volcanoes, and Mount Everest. 

Additional Support Resources:

 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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