Describing Earth's Layers -- Card Sort (NGSS HS-ESS2-3)

Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Formats Included
  • Zip
8 pages
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This activity is part of a unit to address the Next Generation Science Standard HS-ESS2-3: Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection.

This activity was designed as part of the EXPLORE stage in the 5E model. To get the best use of it, students may need to engage in EXPLAIN activities to solidify their understanding of content and concepts. Flowing from EXPLORE activities to various EXPLAIN activities will better assist students in building their own understanding.

What’s Included?

In this activity, students will examine cards with facts about Earth’s interior layers. They will sort these cards into groups for each of Earth’s layers and then pull out the most important facts. They will use these cards to complete a graphic organizer chart.

Looking For More? Check Out These Additional Resources…

BUNDLE: Earth’s Structure Unit, NGSS Aligned, 5E Based

EVALUATE BUNDLE: Earth’s Structure, 5E Based

EXPLAIN BUNDLE: Earth’s Structure, 5E Based

EXPLORE BUNDLE: Earth’s Structure, 5E Based

EXPLORE: Characteristics of Earth’s Layers, 5E Based

EXPLORE: Convection in the Mantle, NGSS Aligned, 5E Based

EXPLORE: Evidence for Earth’s Layers, NGSS Aligned, 5E Based

EXPLORE: Graphing Seismic Waves, NGSS Aligned, 5E Based

Literacy: Earth’s Structure Workbook, NGSS Aligned

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Total Pages
8 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection. Emphasis is on both a one-dimensional model of Earth, with radial layers determined by density, and a three-dimensional model, which is controlled by mantle convection and the resulting plate tectonics. Examples of evidence include maps of Earth’s three-dimensional structure obtained from seismic waves, records of the rate of change of Earth’s magnetic field (as constraints on convection in the outer core), and identification of the composition of Earth’s layers from high-pressure laboratory experiments.


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