3D Geography: My Land

Time Required: Two 40-minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: 3rd to 5th

Learners will use their knowledge of landforms to create a paper map with a compass rose and key. The map will include at least one 3D landform, made with the 3Doodler pen.

Note: Any links outside of the3doodler.com are optional resources. We can’t ensure their upkeep or accuracy.

Lesson Plan


Step 1

Show students one or more of these videos as a refresher on landforms:

Free School: Landform Video

Crash Course Kids: Landforms Video

Periwinkle: Exploring the Landforms of Earth Video

Step 2

Share the goal: students will create a map including landforms of their choice using paper, pencil, markers and/or crayons, then they will build a 3D representation of their landform(s) on the map using the 3Doodler Start pens.

Step 3

Have students create a “My Land” map using pencil and paper. Instruct them to put a unique title for their map at the top of the page. Let them know they should include a compass rose and a key that indicates the landform types on their map. While students are creating their paper and pencil map, circle the room to assist students as they work. Once their pencil and paper map is done, pass out markers and/or crayons as needed.

Instruct them to brainstorm on how they will make a landform on their map 3D using the 3Doodler pens.

Step 4

Demonstrate different ways to create a 3D landform to the students before they begin using the 3Doodler pens. (Draw flat and then attach together to create a 3D design, use some kind of material like a cup or pencil as a “template” to create 3D right away, etc...)

Emphasize the need to create a strong base to hold their designs.

Step 5

Pass out the 3Doodler pens and filaments. For ease of use, have filaments available on each table space where students are working. Let students know they can only use 8 strands total for their project.

Circle the classroom to assist students as they work.

Step 6

The teacher may use small dabs of hot glue, if needed, to secure the students' 3D creation to their maps.

Wrap Up

Once all projects are completed, hang students' work on the wall to display. For the final wrap-up, circle to discuss landforms. Ask individual students about their landform project and how their 3D shape represents characteristics of the landform it represents. Ask other critical thinking questions as necessary.


The teacher will assess students’ work based on their projects and participation in the discussion.

Possible Extensions

To take the lesson further, have students create a new map featuring different landforms.


  • compass rose - a circle showing the principal directions printed on a map or chart.

  • key - A map key is an essential part of a map. It explains what the symbols on the map mean and allows you to make sense of the map.

  • landform - a natural feature of the earth's surface.

Educational Standards


Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources: Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions

In This Lesson

Students research landforms, plan their 3D project, then use the 3Doodler pens to create their 3D landform model. Students can refine their work as needed.


Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of technology to create visualizations, models or simulations.

In This Lesson

Students create a 3D representation of the landform they selected for their project.

CS Teachers

Plan and create a design document to illustrate thoughts, ideas, and stories in a sequential (step-by-step) manner (e.g., story map, storyboard, sequential graphic organizer).

In This Lesson

Students will brainstorm ideas and sketch a design that represents their maps and landforms.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the process into brainstorming, designing, building, and discussing their project with the class.

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