Students watch a video about basic geological concepts that played a role in the shaping of Idaho. They learn about the Craters of the Moon and Idaho’s batholith. Students study a relief map to answer questions about the current geology of their state.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Idaho Unit 2: Geography" in which students will come to understand that the physical environment is not static. Through geological processes and human action, seemingly fixed aspects of the landscape are constantly changing and have always been doing so. As the earth influences how people live, how people live in turn effects the earth.
4.SS.2.1.3: Use a number/letter grid to find specific locations on a map of Idaho.
4.SS.2.1.4: Describe the physical regions of Idaho, and identify major natural resources.
Boise District 413.05: Use a number/letter grid to find specific locations on a map of Idaho.
- Video: Geology | Science Trek
- A smart board, projector, or other screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of Idaho’s Landscape handout
Tell students they will be watching a short video that introduces geological forces, using rivers and mountains in Idaho as examples.
Play the video, Geology | Science Trek [3:54].
Talk again about plate movement and volcanic activity. Explain that many of the mountains in Idaho were formed by plates moving over or under each other, causing uplifting. Ask students to describe a second way that mountains in Idaho formed. If they need prompting, ask them to think about the toothpaste and the ketchup from the video. [The Idaho batholith formed when magma caused up welling of the crust and underlying rock.]
Have your class discuss how water has shaped Idaho forming valleys, plains, and long rivers. Ask students to think about the ways the Science Trek video described them. Then, ask what the Bonneville Flood created [Snake River Canyon located in Twin Falls].
Distribute the Idaho’s Landscapes handout. Explain that the green areas have lower elevations, and the brown areas have higher elevations. Borah Peak, Idaho’s highest mountain, is found in the dark brown section in the center of the state. Point out that the blue lines on the map are rivers.
Have them quietly study the map and answer the questions on the handout.
- Snake River Plain, 3b
- Lost River Range, 2b
- Snake River, 3c
Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
The Bitterroot Mountains