Grade 3

Landforms Great American Race

Creative Communicator, Digital Citizen, Global Collaborator
Great American Race


Students will use Google tools to actively engage in landforms by creating a thin slide and then working in teams to solve the clues.

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Students will:

  • Be able to demonstrate understanding of landforms by creating a slide, going through the slide deck to decipher clues.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Landform: A landform is a natural feature of the earth’s surface--introduce students to various kinds of landforms

Note: This activity can be done with a number of concepts. Landforms are used as an example.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Determine the content you want students to engage with--landforms in this case. 
  • Create a slide deck to be shared with students (all have editing rights). 
  • Create note-cards that have a # that corresponds with the slide they will edit and the landform assigned to them. Each student or group will receive a note-card. 
  • Create a Google Form/Quiz that will self check upon submission. Here are instructions for creating a quiz. If you are using Google Classroom, you can create an assignment and choose Quiz. 
    • Depending on how familiar students are with the topic you can consider write-in questions (most difficult), select from a drop-down, or select from three-four choices. Watch this video Google Forms Magic

See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Activate students prior knowledge with a brain-dump about the topic of landforms
  2. Introduce the concept of Thin Slides--one slide, one picture, one word (a word that is NOT the name of their landform)
  3. Show students how to add a picture (Explore Tool) and a text box in Google Slides
  4. Remind them they are all working on the same slide deck and they should respect each other’s work
  5. Distribute the (super-secret) cards to individuals or teams of two. They should go to the numbered slide, find a picture, and then type a one-word clue about their landform.
  6. Set a five-six time limit on this step.
  7. Collect the super-secret cards.
  8. When time is up you might consider turning editing rights off.
  9. Establish groups of three-four. They should go through the slide deck and try to identify the correct landform on each slide. 
  10. Bonus: Have this be a silent activity where they can only communicate on a Google Doc.
  11. After a few minutes of work time and groups have made a good effort, post the link to the Google Form to have students check their work.
  12. Have groups keep trying until they get 100%. The team that is the fastest and most accurate wins. 
  13. Debrief teamwork strategies.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • You could close with a Quizizz (Fast & Curious) to reinforce the learned vocabulary.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Digital Citizen
2b. Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.

Creative Communicator
6b. Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

Global Collaborator
7c. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

Apps. Extensions, Add-ons


Google Form/Quiz instructions

Google Forms Magic


Vocabulary word practice, parts of speech, literary devices.

Use for any content vocabulary.

Best used for mathematical vocabulary rather than problem solving.

Use this for science vocabulary related to genetics, body systems, etc.

Use for any content vocabulary.

This task card was created by Kaelyn Bullock, Melvindale Northern-Allen Park Schools, June 2020.