Canadian Geographic Education
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Goop to geoforms

This lesson will illustrate geographical terms in three dimensional form.

Participants will be able to:

  • Use magic modeling goop and paint to create features of the geographic landscape.
  • Explain the meaning of geographical terms.

2 to 3 days (excluding teacher preparation)

For magic geoforms:

  • Magic modeling goop (make ahead using recipe below)
  • (5 tbs. salt and 2 cups water to I lb. cornstarch and 2 cups water yields 10 tennis ball sized balls of goop ... one ball will complete 2 geoforms ... wrap, excess in plastic to keep up to a year).
  • Sturdy cardboard squares, 5' x 5' (1 per geoform)
  • Tongue depressors, one per geoform)
  • Hot glue gun and sticks
  • Tempera paint (assorted colors and brushes)
  • Tools for flattening and sculpturing (hands usually enough)
  • Procedures
    Teacher prepares the following ahead:

    • Make magic modeling goop at home
    • Cut cardboard
    • Glue tongue depressors to cardboard
    • Gather rest of items on list for student use

    Day 1

    • Compile a list of geographic terms students are familiar with and have previously discussed and/or illustrated.
    • Students choose one term to make with goop.
    • Students write their landform. definition on a 3' x 5' (copy from book, or use class definition)
    • Glue definition on back of cardboard.

    Day 2

    • Students paint the dry geoforms using small brushes.
    • Students give mini presentations to class. Student creator explains the term and definition with geoform. in full view of group. Students might reinforce what they've learned by orally quizzing one another, after all have shared.

    Day 3

    • Place the geoforms and cards around the classroom and send the students on an adventure of discovery (let the students read and explore on their own). Once the students have seen all the cards and geoforms, begin using the display to reinforce student knowledge on a daily basis.
    • On a rotating basis display 5 geoforms each day. Call on five students, one at a time, to choose a geoform, identify and describe it. Then check for accuracy on back. Eventually, students might try to identify and explain geoforms without the use of cards. They might also try to apply as many of the five themes of geography to a term as possible.

    Directions to Make Goop

    • Mix and heat on medium,
      5 lbs salt
      2 cups of water.

    • Mix in separate bowl,
      1 lb. cornstarch
      2 cups water

    • Stir until smooth.

    • Add cornstarch mixture slowly to salt mixture, stirring constantly while still on stove.

    • When the two mixtures are thoroughly combined, remove from heat, roll into tennis sized balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Will keep indefinitely.

    • Makes 16 - 18 balls of Goop.

    Geography From A To Z, A Picture Glossary by Jack Knowlton, Harper Collins Publishers 1988

    Mother Earth's Counting Book by Andrew Clements, Picture Book Studio 1992

    Three Days On A River In A Red Canoe by Vera B. Williams, Scholastic Inc. 1981

    My World and Globe by Lara Wolfman, Workman Publishing, N Y

    Presented by Ann Henry and Cynthia Vaughn at the NCGE in Vancouver 2001

    Adobe PDF download Goop to geoforms (Adobe PDF document)


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