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Our Amazing Planet - A Look at Earth's Layers

Objectives:

  • The students will learn about the layers of the Earth.

  • The students will be able to name the layers of the Earth.

  • The students will be able to describe each layer of the Earth.

  • The students will be able to describe the depth of each layer of the Earth.

  • The students will be able to describe tectonic plates and how they cause earthquakes.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Think about the Earth. What do you think the Earth is made up of?

  • When we go outside, we see grass and dirt, but do you think there is more to the Earth?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about the Earth’s layers?

  • How many layers does the Earth have?

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

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Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • Earth is not just made up of soil, rocks, and grass.

  • The names of each layer of the Earth.

  • What each layer of the Earth is made up of.

  • The depth of each layer of the Earth.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • The teacher will begin the class by doing the “Earth As An Onion” demonstration. The teacher should show the students the onion and ask them to identify the vegetable. The teacher should ask the students some questions about the onion [size, taste, consistency]. The teacher should ask the students if they know what the onion and the Earth have in common. The teacher should begin pulling the leaves off the onion, showing how there are layers to the onion just like there are layers to the Earth. The teacher should tell the students: When looking at an onion, it looks like solid ball. Once you begin pulling the leaves off, you see there are layers underneath. The Earth is the same way. You see the Earth as a solid ball, but it’s not. The Earth has layers and each layer has a specific function.

  • The teacher should next show the students the video: “Structure of the Earth and Its Different Layers | Chemistry for All | The Fuse School” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn8Rdujngws). The video is about 7 ½ minutes long and discusses important information about the Earth as well as each layer. The teacher should hand out the accompanying worksheet “Structure of the Earth and Its Different Layers”. As the students watch the video, they will fill in the blanks on their worksheet. Once the video is over, the teacher should review the content discussed and the answers to the worksheet.

**Refer to the teacher copy of the worksheet**

  • Next, the teacher should show the students the picture, “Layers of the Earth”. If it is possible, project the “Layers of the Earth” picture onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project. The teacher should also give each student a copy of the diagram to follow along with as the teacher reviews the layers and the name of each layer. After the picture is explained, the students should place the worksheet aside, as it will be used later on in the lesson.

  • Next, the teacher will hand out the worksheet “What’s Inside the Earth?” information packet. If it is possible, project each page of the “What’s Inside the Earth?” information packet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project. The teacher will read and discuss each fact sheet to the students. Have the students refer back to their “Layers of the Earth” diagram when each layer is introduced. The teacher should allow for questions / student discussion after presenting each sheet. The worksheets should be presented in this order: “Inner Core”; “Outer Core”; “Lower Mantle”; “Upper Mantle”; “Crust”; “Tectonic Plates”. The teacher should refer to the vocabulary and additional information below when explaining each information sheet.

  • Vocabulary:

  • Composition: the nature of something’s ingredients [Dictionary Definition]

  • Magnetic Field: a region around a magnetic material or a moving electric charge within which the force of magnetism acts. [Dictionary Definition]

  • Inner Core:

    • The inner core is deep within the Earth and under a lot of pressure.

    • Hottest part of the Earth.

    • Metal located within the inner core stays solid due to the extreme heat and pressure.

  • Outer Core:

    • Flows around the center of the Earth.

    • Creates the Earth’s magnetic fields.

  • Lower Mantle:

    • Also under a lot of pressure, so the metals stay solid (like the inner core).

  • Upper Mantle:

    • Lower part of the upper mantle is hot and the metals stay as a liquid, but the upper part is cooler and the metals are more solid.

  • Crust:

    • Where we live!

    • Thinnest layer as compared to the other layers.

    • Ranges in thickness from 5 km (ocean floor) to 70 km (continental crust/ where we live)

  • Tectonic Plates

    • Move slowly; about an inch per year.

Information Sources:

            http://www.ngkids.co.uk/science-and-nature/structure-of-the-earth

            http://www.ducksters.com/science/composition_of_the_earth.php

            http://science.jrank.org/kids/pages/78/EARTH-S-LAYERS.html

            http://www.scienceforkidsclub.com/earths-layers.html

  • After the worksheet is completed, the students will participate in an activity called “Layers of the Earth” match game. The students will work in pairs. Each pair will get a Zip-Loc bag with “Earth Cards”. Tell the students to place the cards face down on the desk. The object of the game is to match the layer to its description. For example, if a student picks up a card that says “Crust” they will need to match it to the card that says “22OC; solid; oceanic and continental”. Allow the students to work for about 10 minutes. Reconvene and discuss when the students are finished.

**Each layer has four cards: 2 layer-name cards and 2 information cards **

Closure

  • The final assessment will be for the students to answer the question:

Think about what you learned in class today. How many layers does Earth have? What are the layers? Is the temperature on the layers the same?

Think back to the video you watched. What layer of the Earth do humans live on? If you could make one change to the layer humans live on, what would it be and why?

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

  • Introductory Activity: “Earth as an Onion” demonstration; Video & Accompanying Worksheet

  • Discussion: “Layers of the Earth” picture; “What’s Inside the Earth?” information packet

  • Activity: “Layers of the Earth” match game

  • Discussion of Activity

  • Independent Assessment

20 minutes

Introductory Activity: “Earth as an Onion” | Video & Accompanying Worksheet  

15 Minutes

“Layers of the Earth” Picture | “What’s Inside The Earth?” Information Packet

  • Give each student a “Layers of the Earth” diagram.

  • Project the diagram onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • Students will follow along as the teacher says the name of each layer.

  • Give each student a “What’s Inside The Earth?” information packet.

  • Project each page of the worksheet packet onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • Present the worksheets in this order: “Inner Core”; “Outer Core”; “Mantle”; “Crust”; “Tectonic Plates”

10 Minutes

Activity: “Layers of the Earth” Match Game

  • Have the students break into pairs

  • Give each pair a Zip-Loc bag with “Earth Cards”.

  • Tell the students to place the cards face down on the desk.

  • The object of the game is to match the layer to its description. For example, if a student picks up a card that says “Crust” they will need to match it to the card that says “22OC; solid; oceanic and continental”.

  • Allow the students to work for about 10 minutes.

  • At the end of 10 minutes, have the students return to their desks and discuss the activity.

Closure/Assessment
10 minutes

  • As an independent assessment, the students will answer the question:  

Think about what you learned in class today. How many layers does Earth have? What are the layers? Is the temperature on the layers the same?

Think back to the video you watched. What layer of the Earth do humans live on? If you could make one change to the layer humans live on, what would it be and why?

  • Appropriate answers should include (but will vary).

  • If there is additional time, discuss any questions the students might have.

Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.

Ecosystems, Biomes, and Habitats PowerPoint and Activities