September 21, 2015
by Sanayya Sohail

Lesson plan

Play Dough Earth: Layers Of the Earth

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Students will be able to identify the layers of the earth.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell your students that they will learn about the layers of the Earth.
  • Ask your students if they know the layers of the Earth.
(20 minutes)
  • Draw a picture of the Earth on the board.
  • Point to the crust and explain to your students that the crust is the thinnest layer of the Earth and makes up one percent of the Earth. Tell your students that we live on the hard crust.
  • Point to the mantle, and explain that the mantle makes up two-thirds of the Earth's mass and is below the crust.
  • Show the core, and explain to your students that the core consists of two parts. Tell your students that the outer core is solid and the inner core is liquid. Compare the core to a peanut butter sandwich and explain to your students that the outer core is like the bread while the inner core is like the peanut butter.
(20 minutes)
  • Ask your students to complete the What's the Earth Made Of worksheet with a partner.
  • Go over the worksheet as a class.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask your students to complete the Layers of the Earth worksheet.
  • Enrichment: Ask your students to come up with their own analogies to the Earth and what it is made of. Have them give their examples to their peers. If your students have extra time, give them the Inside the Earth worksheet.
  • Support: Have your students gather in the back. Get an egg and use a knife to create cracks in it. Tell your students that the outside of the egg is like the crust and has cracks. After that, peel off the egg and compare the white part to the mantle, as it takes up a lot of the mass. After that, dig through the yellow and compare that to the core.
(5 minutes)
  • Walk around while your students are completing the worksheets, making sure that they are identifying the parts of Earth accurately.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide your class into groups of three.
  • Pass out three different colors of play dough to each group.
  • Tell each group to construct the three layers of the Earth using play dough.

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