Earth's Systems - Biosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Geosphere, Cryosphere

Grade Levels
8th - 10th
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Internet Activities
16 pages
Compatible with Digital Devices
The Teacher-Author has indicated that this resource can be used for device-based learning.

Also included in

  1. Are you ready for your students to take charge of their learning? This comprehensive course is interactive, hands-on, and student-centered! Students learn about current environmental issues through detailed lessons and activities. Units cover the four spheres of the earth and human impacts on the
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This environmental science lesson and activity is a quick and easy introduction to the earth's spheres: geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. A brief introduction to the cryosphere is also included.


➤➤This lesson is the starting point for my Environmental Science course that delves into deeper content in each of the earth's spheres. It includes PowerPoint presentations, guided Cornell notes, webquests, labs and activities, doodle notes, and assessments.


Included in this product:

  • Detailed teacher lesson plan including essential questions, standards, included resources, and materials list
  • Student web-quest on biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere as well as interactions between them
  • A short exploration of the cryosphere and its significance in climate change studies
  • An outdoor activity in which students examine local ecology
  • A concept map to practice vocabulary

How do I use this lesson?

Students independently gain vocabulary and basic concepts through internet web-quests and videos. The content delivery is perfect for substitutes because students can work independently on the web-quest and research project.

What curriculum could I use with this lesson?

This lesson is ideally geared toward high school students and would work well with a general-level Environmental Science or Biology textbook. It is not designed to meet AP Environmental Science or AP Biology standards but could supplement these courses.

➤Are you interested in other Environmental Science topics? Here are my other Environmental Science lessons:


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Total Pages
16 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth's systems result in changes in climate. Examples of the causes of climate change differ by timescale, over 1-10 years: large volcanic eruption, ocean circulation; 10-100s of years: changes in human activity, ocean circulation, solar output; 10-100s of thousands of years: changes to Earth's orbit and the orientation of its axis; and 10-100s of millions of years: long-term changes in atmospheric composition. Assessment of the results of changes in climate is limited to changes in surface temperatures, precipitation patterns, glacial ice volumes, sea levels, and biosphere distribution.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century. Examples of factors include human activities (such as fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and agricultural activity) and natural processes (such as changes in incoming solar radiation or volcanic activity). Examples of evidence can include tables, graphs, and maps of global and regional temperatures, atmospheric levels of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and the rates of human activities. Emphasis is on the major role that human activities play in causing the rise in global temperatures.


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