Grade levels: 8-12

Lesson Objective: The Learner Will Be Able To:

1. Describe the main processes by which mountains form
2. Express the constantly-changing nature of natural landforms
3. Define the relationship between plate tectonics and mountain formation


  • Computers with email access
  • Paper
  • pens
  • handouts (below)
Lesson Process:

1. Begin the lesson by brainstorming about mountains, recording results on the chalkboard. What are mountains? What do they consist of? Are they uniform or mixed in composition? Where do they come from? Have mountains just always been there? Do mountains stay the same or do they change? Why are there often chains of mountains all together?

2. Distribute handouts for research. Students will go online to research everything they can and then create the “mountain building” description for their presentation. To finish, they will create two illustrations of mountain building processes and one illustration of uplift.

Student Worksheet: Mountain Building

Go online to do research on how mountains form, and how they grow. Make sure to complete the definitions and the description in your own words, incorporating as much detail as possible. Watch the video at the National Geographic website:

1. In your own words, describe the processes by which mountains form and grow.

2. Define the following terms as they apply to mountains, how they form and how they grow.

Sea level:

orogenic movement:

tectonic plates:



fault-block mountains:

folded mountains:

upwarped mountains:

volcanic mountains:

3. Now, you will create illustrations of mountain formation for your presentation. Be thorough, pay attention to detail, and be sure to use appropriate colours and labels.