Have you ever drawn a picture of your street, town, or neighborhood, showing landmarks like trees, homes, and stores? If you have then you’re already a mapmaker. Or, to use a fancier word, you’re a cartographer!
WHAT ARE MAPS AND GLOBES FOR?
Maps show the locations of places on a sheet of paper. Globes are a type of map. But instead of being flat, globes are ball-shaped. This makes them more like Earth, the Moon, or other planets they represent.
Have you ever thrown a rock? Ever seen a diamond ring? Ever added salt to your food? If you have, then you’ve had a close encounter with minerals.
WHAT’S A MINERAL?
Minerals come mainly from rocks. To be considered a real mineral, a substance has to occur naturally and it has to come from inorganic material. Inorganic means not created by living things. Oil and coal, for example, come from the remains of ancient plants. So they’re not considered real minerals, at least by scientists.
Stand very still. You may think you are not moving, but the ground may be moving ever so slightly under your feet. The ground you are standing on is part of Earth’s crust. The crust is the solid surface or outer, rocky layer of Earth. Pieces of Earth’s crust are always slowly slipping and sliding around. The idea that pieces of Earth’s crust move is called the theory of plate tectonics.
HOW CAN EARTH’S CRUST MOVE?
Scientists think that Earth’s crust is made of many slabs, or pieces, of rock. The biggest pieces are thousands of miles wide. The pieces are called tectonic plates.
It is a lot harder to climb a mountain than to hike across a plain. You might need special shoes to help your feet grip the ground on a mountain or ropes to help pull you up in steep places. A plain is flat. A mountain rises up high above the ground.
HOW DO MOUNTAINS DIFFER FROM HILLS?
You would have a longer climb to the top of a mountain than to the top of a hill. Mountains are higher than hills. The tallest mountain in the world is Mount Everest between Nepal and Tibet.
Have you ever taken a ride on a river? Some rivers flow slowly and gently. You can hop into a tube that looks like a big rubber doughnut and take a relaxing float down this kind of river.
Some rivers rush over rocks making foaming whitewater rapids. You can have a wild ride in a rubber raft on this kind of river. The kind of river you ride on depends on many things, including where the river is, what the water flows over, and how wide the river is.
Rivers that flow through flat plains are usually wider and deeper than rivers higher up. These rivers usually flow lazily and are good for floating down. Rivers in mountains often flow through narrow channels. Water moves swiftly through these channels.