Geography Quest: Waterfalls Edition


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Waterfalls are among my favorite things.

In the whole world.

We live in a corner of the world where receding glaciers left their mark.

In a big way.

There are 150 waterfalls within a ten mile radius of our home.

The geology here is stunning.

Do you and our students know much about waterfalls?

What is a Waterfall?

Do your students know what a waterfall is?

Have they ever seen one in person?

Waterfalls are formed when a river or stream makes a change in elevation.

They can be enormous, covering many miles.

Or they can be small brooks that tumble down over a few rocks.

They can be tall, thundering down from 700 feet or more.

Or they can be shorter but longer, sloping more gently.

How are Waterfalls Formed?

Do some research. Learn about waterfalls and how they are formed. Their formation will tell you something about where you find them.

  • How do waterfalls form?
  • Where do you find waterfalls?
  • Do waterfalls stay the same?
  • What type of rock is under a waterfall?
  • Are there different types of waterfalls? If so, learn about them.
  • Some waterfalls are seasonal. What does that mean?

Find These Famous Waterfalls

Several of our local waterfalls are impounded for swimming during the season.

Use a blank world map and see if you can find the following famous waterfalls. I guarantee you the search will only take a few minutes and yield stunning photographs. So, you might lose time marveling at the sights.

  • Angel Falls
  • Niagara Falls
  • Victoria Falls
  • Yosemite Falls
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Kaieteur Falls
  • Dettifoss
  • Sutherland Falls
  • Plitvice Falls
  • Jog Falls
  • Blue Nile Falls

Map the Waterfalls

Now it’s time to map some waterfalls. You have plenty of options. Choose the ones the ones you’d most like to remember.

  • Choose a world map or a map of the United States- depending on the them you choose for your map.
  • Place a mark on the map at the falls and label the waterfall.
  • Title your map- so others know what your map depicts.
  • Add pictures to your map- you could print out pictures of the waterfalls and place them on your map.
  • Include basic facts about each waterfall- the height and volume would be fun facts to remember

Paint Your Waterfalls

Sometimes as homeschoolers, we have trouble finding time to insert art lessons.

They take time.

And planning.

But, I love to look for ways to combine our art lessons with our geography and other lessons.

Always a win/win.

Some kids hate the mess…and some don’t.

This waterfall painting is Yellowstone Falls from the video art course American Landmarks. We’ve used Chalk Pastel art from its beginnings as eBooks.

But, I have to say I adore the videos.


Nana narrating her work is an absolute pleasure. She is able to explain each part of a painting so clearly and she encourages artists along the way.

The bonus is all the facts about what you are painting as you work!

American Landmarks Video Art Course

The American Landmark Video Art Course contains more than waterfalls. You can paint many natural landmarks and landforms.

And learn about that site at the same time.

In a risk free, encouraging environment.


Other Geography Posts at Blog, She Wrote

Waterfalls remind us that the earth is an ever changing landscape.

And that water is a powerful force.

Below are posts which combine some geography with a study of earth science.

Teaching Geography with Earth Science– A look at how we combine North Star Geography with a study of earth science for a high school science course.

How to Use Google Earth in Your Homeschool– Instructions for using the first version of Google Earth with your students.

Geography Quests– The landing page for all Geography Quests here at Blog, She Wrote. You’ll find many options for seasonal and topical geography study with your students.

Trail Planning Using Topographic Quandrangle Maps– Learn how to read a topographic map and plan a recreation trail in the process. You could combine topo maps with waterfall studies too!

I encourage you to take a trip.

Find out about the most famous waterfalls in the world.

Gaze at their beauty.

Consider the force of the water to have carved out a path that leads to gorgeous views.

Will you visit any?

SaveSubscribe for Geography Travel Guide Printable

Sign up below for a free Geography Travel Guide Printable to use with any of our Geography Quests.

You’ll be able to download other free resources and get help for homeschooling high school!


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