Playdough Topo

An excerpt from a black and white topographic contour map of Mount Rainier.
An excerpt from a topographic contour map of Mount Rainier.
Overview: Students make a clay model volcano, and then create a topographic map of it. This lesson is adapted from the USGS Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard curriculum.
Grade Level:
5 - 12
Objectives: Students will be able to:
  • Recognize mountains and river valleys on a topographic map
  • Visualize how a 2-dimensional topographic map represents a 3-dimensional landscape
  • Understand contour lines and contour interval
  • Increase their spatial visualization skills
Lesson Plan:
Playdough Topo - word, 45KB
Playdough Topo - pdf, 414KB

Mount Rainier Contour Map
Mount Fuji Contour Map
Mount Rainier Anaglyph Map
Mount Fuji Anaglyph Map
USGS Playdough Topo Lesson Plan
USGS Topo Maps & Mount Rainier Lesson Plan

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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