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Landforms – to the Educator

The Museum has developed several lessons for use in conjunction with its on-line Collections.

To The Educator

Welcome to the Museum’s Landforms in the Landscape Unit. This unit is designed sequentially – one lesson scaffolding to the next. However, each individual lesson can be utilized independently.


The artistic expression found in landscape painting is often related to landforms. A better understanding of geographic features can tell us more about landscape painting. And conversely, an understanding about the tradition of landscape painting enriches our experience of the earth’s surface.


Fulfills national standards in visual arts and geography for the identified grade levels.


Students will be able to identify a variety of landforms found in a panoramic view of a specific region. After viewing examples of landscape paintings, students will critically view artwork to encounter how artists respond to landforms in their paintings. Students will be able to understand how the techniques of perspective help to create the illusion of space.


Display various photos and paintings of contrasting landscape views. Include scenes such as open space, forested and developed land, scenes with different types of weather and landforms depicted. Mount and laminate on heavy paper for greater durability.

Plan some time to go outside to view a landscape. Bring art supplies along, so the students can create a landscape painting of a designated area as a culmination of this unit. An eschool chat can be arranged with the NMWA as a follow-up to discuss these student works of art.


This unit is designed to challenge the students to formulate their position on more philosophical issues of nature, beauty and art. These questions are intended to be discussed either with the entire class, in a small group or reflected upon in writing. Remind students these issues require individual perspectives and there are no right or wrong answers.

Additional Resources

Landforms – Lessons

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