The US Department of Agrictulture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has a useful handout about reading topographic maps and how to delineate watersheds using a topographic map. The simplified drawings on these pages are great simplified topographic maps to use with students.
If you want to find a specific type of geographical feature to show students how this looks on a topo map, see the Rocky Mountain Resource Center. They have compiled example maps for hundreds of interesting features that may be shown to students.
Shaping Earth’s Surface
2. Topography is reshaped by the weathering of rock and soil and by the transportation and deposition of sediment. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know water running downhill is the dominant process in shaping the landscape, including California’s landscape.
Investigation and Experimentation
7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
f. Read a topographic map and a geologic map for evidence provided on the maps and construct and interpret a simple scale map.