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Making and Interpreting Topographic Maps

Kit #439S

This activity provides students with a basic understanding of topographic maps and how to interpret them. Students use a three-dimensional plastic model of landscape to construct a two-dimensional topographic map. This experience provides students with a better understanding of what contour lines represent and how to interpret them.

Details at a Glance

  • 1-2 Days | 1-2 ~50 minute class periods
  • 1 Activity
  • Accommodates 5 classes, each with 6 groups of 4 students
  • Consumables service 120 students
  • Meets our criteria for supporting literacy
  • Includes digital resources
  • Developed in partnership with SEPUP
  • Requires a water source

Complete Kit Equipment Package

Making and Interpreting Topographic Maps (Developed by SEPUP)

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Scientific Concepts

Disciplinary Core Ideas
• MS-ESS2.A Earth’s Materials and Systems
Science and Engineering Practices
• Developing and Using Models
• Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
• Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts
• Patterns
• Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Key Vocabulary: contour interval, contour line, topographic map, topography

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 6 Topographic Basins
  • 6 Transparent plastic lids
  • 6 Dry erase markers
  • 1 Blue food coloring, 15-mL drop-controlled bottle
  • 1 Transparency 1: Street Map of Boomtown
  • 1 Transparency 2: Topographic Map of Boomtown
  • 1 Teacher's Guide and MSDS packet
  • 28 Student Worksheet and Guides

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