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Model the layers of the Earth TO SCALE using only paper and colored pencils! Covers NGSS Earth Science MS-ESS2-1 and MS-ESS2-2, as well as the NGSS "Developing and Using Models" practice.
Students create their own (really long!) model of Earth's Layers that is accurate to scale. First, students convert the actual thickness of Earth's layers from kilometers to scaled centimeters (super simple math). The document then gives students very specific step-by-step instructions about how many centimeters each layer should be, what labels are necessary, and how to color it. The steps are easy to follow and clear. Students simply follow the steps one after the other in order to create their model.
We have done this activity with 7th, 8th, and 9th grade classes. Most students in this age range can do this project independently, with just a few struggling learners needing support. 5th or 6th grade classes might need to do this as a whole class versus independently, with the teacher leading the students through the steps.
The document instructs students to use register tape (We got 450 feet of it on Amazon for $6!), however it would work just as well if students taped several sheets of computer paper together the long way.
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