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Here students nibble their way around geography while making an edible map


Social Studies  



Title – Nibble Indiana
By – Pamela Hilt
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 4


      In this lesson we will be creating an edible map of Indiana (

or you can substitute your home state or country


Guiding Questions:

      How did glaciers affect the land in Indiana?

      What are the three regions of Indiana?

    What is the land like in each region?


    The children have been learning how the ice age and glaciers impacted the land in and around Indiana. Using an Indiana map for reference, students will learn more about the physical geography of Indiana by making an edible map. They will use different objects and colors to represent the three regions of Indiana.


  • Students will learn that Indiana has three regions.
  • Students will learn the physical features of each region and possible reasons for the landforms in the each area.
  • Students will create their own “edible” map of Indiana showing the three regions.
  • Students will identify and describe the land in each region of Indiana.


  1. Begin by reviewing what a glacier is and how it moved into Indiana from the north. Have students recall what they know about the ice age and glacial movement. Remind them of the glacier model and lead a discussion about how the glacier affected the land in northern Indiana, soil, lakes, rivers, etc.
  2. Using a map of Indiana ( or a transparency ) show the area that was flattened by the glacier. Focus on the location of the Great Lakes and move southward. Ask if anyone recalls the name of this region – The Great Lakes Region .
  3. Move to the central area of Indiana. Talk about the landforms in OUR area around and just south of Indianapolis. Do they see big hills and mountains? NO — but we do have great farmland in the central region. It’s called the Central Till Plains . Does anyone know what it means to till soil? ( Farming – to prepare the soil for planting. ) Does anyone know what a plain is? ( A large, flat area of land. )
  4. Now we move to the southern area. Did the glaciers come all the way down here? What does this land look like? What landforms will we find here? ( Hills, mountains, etc. ) This area has the HARDEST name to remember — The Southern Hills and Lowlands.
  5. Over the past weeks, we’ve really been learning how to use a map. NOW — explain to students that each one of them is going to create an edible map. They must listen and follow directions carefully in order to create their own map of Indiana. (THIS IS A GREAT LESSON TO TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES OF AS THE MAPS ARE “BEIndianaG” CREATED — AND ALSO THE “FIndianaISHED” PRODUCT — BEFORE THEY EAT THEM!)
  6. Give each student a graham cracker on a paper plate. Tell them to “nibble” around the edges to create the shape of Indiana. Model. Try to eat the small parts they are nibbling off or keep them over the plate!
  7. Give each student a spoon with white frosting on it. Demonstrate how to spread the frosting over the graham cracker. This could represent the “soil” in the state of Indiana. Have students spread their frosting.
  8. Elicit from students the number of regions we find in Indiana ( Three. ).
  9. Using 2 small licorice strips, have students place the licorice across their state to show the three regions.
  10. Have students point to the northern region of Indiana. Ask them to name that region. Ask them what color they think should represent that area — what is found there? How did this region get its name? ( Blue. ) Model putting blue sprinkles in the northern region. This doesn’t take very many shakes! Try not to get the blue into the other regions! Have students add blue sprinkles to the northern region. ( You might want to have students go to a side table by groups to add the sprinkles, or pass the sprinkle can around the room if you feel your students can do this without too big of mess. )
  11. Have students point to the central region of Indiana. Ask them to name that region. Talk about what the land looks like. How do you think it got its name? What color would represent this good farmland where lots of things grow? ( Green. ) Model putting green in the center region. Have students put green sprinkles in the center region of their edible map.
  12. Have students point to the southern region on their edible map. Talk about how that land was formed. Did the glacier go that far down south? What does the land look like? How do you think this region got its name? What is the name of the southern region? What could we use to represent this area on our maps? CHOCOLATE CHIPS, of course — to represent the mountains and valleys in between. Model putting chocolate chip mountains on your edible map. Give students a small amount of chocolate chips to put on their southern region. ( Checking with your nurse to see if she can spare small medicine cups for us to use for the chips. )
  13. After completing the map, have students explain it to their neighbor. They should be able to name the three regions, tell about the landforms in each, and explain why we choose the colors we did to represent each area.


  14. Students may eat their map!

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