Three activities provide basic knowledge and understanding of four layers of the earth: crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core. Students learn the thickness, temperature, and composition of each layer, and get a brief introduction to the lithosphere and asthenosphere.
Layers of Earth Activities:
• Earth’s Layers Lab
– Students use apples as models for the earth. On the first page, they draw and label cross-sections of the apple and the earth. The second page asks them to compare and contrast the apple and earth on a Venn diagram then consider other uses for models.
• Earth’s Layers Booklet
– An eight-page foldable booklet gives information about the thickness, temperature, and composition of each layer. As students read they answer questions, label diagrams on the opposite page, and color to show what they’ve learned.
• Earth’s Layers Model
– Students find the thickness of each layer from an information sheet. Then they divide by 100 to determine how many squares will represent the layer. They color, cut in strips, and tape together to make one long model of the radius of the earth. Three versions of the information sheet are included: full color with specific information and a labeled model of the earth, grayscale with specific information and a labeled model of the earth, and a more challenging set of clues with no graphic. Choose one for your entire class or use different versions for differentiation.
These hands-on activities, designed for intermediate grade students, provide basic knowledge and help students conceptualize what lies beneath their feet. Students practice reading, science process, and math skills while they explore.
Are you looking for more geology activities for middle grade students? My unit on rocks
includes articles, activities, and assessments that can be used in a stand-alone sequence or added to your longer unit.
Check out my blog, Enjoy Teaching
, for more activities and links. Visit each week for new ideas and freebies.
Clip art was created by the Painted Crow.