Physical Geography - Landforms for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Physical Geography - Landforms

Physical Geography For Kids - Landforms

What is a landform? The usual definition is that a landform is a natural feature of the solid surface of the earth. Mountains, deserts, oceans, coastlines, lakes, creeks, rivers, waterfalls, islands, rainforests, plains, grasslands, canyons, bays, and peninsulas are all landforms, whether they are mostly made up of land or water, provided they were made naturally, and can be found on the solid surface of the earth.

It seems rather odd to call an ocean a landform since it is obviously made up of a great deal of water and doesn't seem very solid, but that is its general geographical name - an ocean landform. Over 70% of the earth's surface is ocean. Oceans were formed naturally.

A gas, like oxygen or hydrogen, is not a landform because it is not a feature of the solid surface of the earth. A man-make lake or hill is not a landform because it was not formed naturally.

To decide if something is a landform, ask yourself three questions. Can you draw a map or point at something and say there it is, and there it has been for the last hundred or thousand or million years or so? Was it made naturally? Is it a feature of the solid surface of the earth? If you answer yes to all three questions - it probably is a landform.

Geographers usually refer to a landform along with what type of landform it is - for example, a lake landform, an ocean landform, a mountain landform, or a desert landform. It is not a requirement. It helps to keep things clear.

Types of Landforms (cartoon youtube video for kids)

Match the Memory game, interactive (mrpolum)

Plum's Island Explorer, interactive (pbs)

Landform Example: Mountain Landforms (Donn)

30 different kinds of landforms (Mr. Nussbaum)

For Teachers

Landforms Lesson Plans and Lesson Ideas

World Landforms Lesson Plans with assessments

Free Presentations in PowerPoint format about Geography