Social Studies 4: Landforms

Today we're going to get your butte into gear and teach you all about land forms. Yes, including buttes.

4th GradeSocial Studies
Elementary and Middle School4th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:24

It's also home to many different landforms.

00:26

The surface of the United States is covered by a diverse range of landforms – but the [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:30

most common ones you'd expect to see while traversing the Land of the Free are mountains,

00:35

plateaus and plains…oh my. [The different landforms popping up on a map of the US]

00:36

So… what do each of these landforms really look like?

00:40

The one that's easiest to picture is probably “mountains.” [Picture of mountains]

00:43

When we say mountains, we're referring to landforms that are high in elevation and come

00:47

to a point or a peak. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

00:49

Y'know… a mountain.

00:50

Like any one of the Rocky Mountains seen here, which stretch from the top of British Columbia [The Rocky Mountains shown on a map]

00:55

in Canada all the way down to the state of New Mexico.

00:57

That’s a mountain range with some range.

01:00

Okay, so…what about a plateau?

01:02

A plateau is sort of like a mountain in that it, too, has an elevated surface. Unlike a

01:07

mountain, however, a plateau doesn't have a peak.

01:10

Instead, it has a wide, flat surface at the top, as seen here in the photo of the Colorado [A line is drawn to show the flat surface]

01:15

Plateau, which is over 130,000 square miles in size. [Sign for the Colorado Plateau shows the size]

01:19

Not as tough to climb, and much easier to play soccer on. [Someone kicks the soccer ball off the edge]

01:23

Last up is a plain, which… is probably the most boring of the three. [Plane flies over a plain]

01:26

Because while climbing Mount Everest is both impressive and daring, traversing the Great [Group of climbers in the snow]

01:30

Plains of North America doesn't require much more than a working car and a whole lot of patience. [Family in a car]

01:35

A plain, after all, refers simply to an area of the Earth that’s flat and often covered

01:40

in grass. Whoop-dee-doo. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

01:42

But while plains, plateaus and mountains are the most common landforms in the USA, they're

01:46

not the only ones.

01:47

Here's another one:

01:48

No, it’s not what you think it is – although America is home to a lot of those, too. [Butte appears over the guy wearing Tuesday pants]

01:52

A butte is a smaller sized landform that stands alone and at higher elevations – but it

01:57

has a flat top like a plateau. [Picture of a butte with lines showing the general shape]

01:59

America is also home to many valleys. A valley is a flat land surface that’s sandwiched [Picture of a valley]

02:04

between two higher elevation forms, like plateaus or mountain ranges.

02:07

Canyons, meanwhile, are deep holes or valleys within the earth that often hug the rivers

02:12

that flow through them. Yeah, they can be a little clingy. [Guy in a boat at the bottom of a canyon]

02:15

There are also plenty of hills, which are like small mountains with rounded tops.

02:18

They also make perfect homes for hobbits. [Hobbit in his house]

02:20

Mountains, plateaus, plains, buttes, valleys, canyons and hills – just a handful of the

02:25

landforms that call America home.

02:26

Let's just be grateful that they aren’t actually found all in the same place.

02:30

If they were…well, good luck getting to and from school every day… [Girl leaves the house for school on top of a plateau]