Youngest is studying the desert right now [and then we'll do desert/Southwest Indians]. She is making a salt dough landscape as I type. We used the basic 2 C flour; 2 C salt; 1 C water salt dough recipe.
She used the cards from her Notebooking pocket to see which to do and how they look. I just found some images of real photos to match each desert land form and made cards. The land form definition cards are from Deserts (Hands-on science series). They are: arroyo, playa, canyon, alluvial fan, butte, oasis, mesa, and dune. These are all included in her salt dough landscape.
Here are some pictures [yes, I actually took and even uploaded pictures!]:
You can see pictures of my olders' imaginary island salt dough maps at this old post.
There are some affiliate links in this post taking you to Amazon. Your cost is the same but I may possibly receive a small commission.