Atmosphere Model Description
This is a one page model rubric for layers of the atmosphere. There rubric has a range of 1-4. The rubric also has pictures and words students can cut out and glue on their actual model. I have used balloons, paper plates, and cups to create a model of the Earth’s atmosphere layers. You really need 64 ounce Styrofoam cups, but we couldn’t find any at our local grocery store this year. The slick plastic cups required us to use tape. The balloons we used last year were great, but it is hard to store 130 of them when you teach 5 science classes. Paper plates are my favorite unless I can find bigger cups next year. There are pictures of student examples included in the two page .pdf document.
MS-PS1-4 Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
(We use our models to discuss the atoms and elements in each layer of the atmosphere. For example, the troposphere has more oxygen than any other layer. The atoms of oxygen get thinner and farther apart as you go up into the atmospheric layers.)
MS-ESS2-6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
(I teach the layers of the atmosphere and then we discuss weather and climate patterns. Understanding the layers of the atmosphere helps students understand how the sun heats the Earth unevenly.)