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Layers of the Earth Lesson Overview

Students will model and describe the layers of the Earth, including the crust, lithosphere, asthenosphere, mantle, outer core, and inner core through several hands-on activities.


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80 minutes
Whole class and groups of 3-4 students
PTI Inquiry
1.1, 1.3, 2.3, 3.1, 3.3, 3.6, 3.7, 7.4
Lesson Components Time Inquiry Skills Tech. Used Engage Level Brief Description
Engage 10 min 1.1, 1.3, 2.3, 3.1, 3.3, 3.6, 3.7 None 2 Students will cut open a fun size Milky Way candy bar and make observations about the inside, and answer questions that relate the Milky Way to the Earth’s Interior Layers.
Explore 25 min none 3 Students will look at 4 different baggies, each filled with different substances. These substances will lead the students to describing and figuring out which layer is which.
Explain 15 min none 2 Students will use a resource to answer and fill out a chart that explains more characteristics of each layer.
Expand 20 min none 2 Students will use all of their knowledge to figure out a diagram of Earth.
Evaluate 10 min 7.4 none 1 Exit slip will check for student understanding.

Level of Student Engagement

1 Low Listen to lecture, observe the teacher, individual reading, teacher demonstration, teacher-centered instruction
2 Medium Raise questions, lecture with discussion, record data, make predictions, technology interaction with assistance
3 High Hands-on activity or inquiry; critique others, draw conclusions, make connections, problem-solve, student-centered

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