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Landforms Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Jason Brunken

Jason is a certified teacher with a Masters in Educational Technology and over 12 years of classroom teaching experience.

With beautiful sights like valleys and canyons carved by flowing water, Earth's ever-changing landscape features a great diversity of landforms. In this lesson, learn about landforms and see different examples of these features.

The Ever-Changing Earth

Do you live in a flat area? Or do you live on the top of a mountain or between two? No matter where you reside, you may have noticed unique features of the land, called landforms.

Earth's surface can take on many forms, from flat plains to rocky mountains, because forces like wind, water, and the shifting of the very land itself cause Earth's crust to change everyday. Only, it changes so slowly you don't notice it happening right before your eyes!

Earth's landforms can be classified into two main groups: lowlands and highlands. Let's explore each type and check out some examples!

A Lowland Stroll

Do you live by the ocean? If so, you most likely live on one of two lowland landforms: a beach or a plain. Beaches are lowlands next to the ocean or other large bodies of water. Beaches can be sandy or rocky and are fun places to play. A plain is a very wide, flat area on the Earth's surface. The Great Plains that stretch from Montana down to Texas is a great example of a plain. Plains are very important for people because their flat land is ideal for building cities and developing farms.

Other lowland landforms include valleys and canyons. A valley is a wide lowland found between two mountains. Valleys are usually V- or U-shaped. A canyon is a special kind of valley that has steep edges and is narrower because it has been carved by a force of nature, like a flowing river. Have you ever heard of the Grand Canyon? It's the biggest canyon in North America.

The Grand Canyon in the American Southwest is the longest, widest, and deepest canyon in North America.
Grand Canyon

Behold the Highlands!

When you step out of your home, can you look down into a valley full of homes and farms? Do you see majestic, snow-capped mountains around you? If so, you most likely live in a highland area. There are three main kinds of highland landforms: mountains, plateaus, and hills.

Mountains are the highest landforms on Earth. Mountains are measured by how high they are above sea level, and many people require any land formation to be at least 2,000 feet above sea level to be considered a mountain. Mt. Everest in Asia is the highest mountain in the world at over 29,000 feet! Some people live in small towns set atop the mountains.

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