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Journey Through the Spheres of the Earth Lesson Overview

The student will investigate Earth’s five spheres through a hands-on activity in which they collect data and construct explanations through a lab simulating how interactions occur on the planet from one sphere to another. Students will discuss picture examples of the five Spheres, collect data to generate their own bar graph, and experience interactions between the five Spheres on Earth. Students will be able to identify and differentiate impacts and interactions between the Biosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, Cryosphere, and Atmosphere.


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70 minutes
2-4 students
PTI Inquiry
1.3, 3.3, 3.5, 3.7, 4.2, 7.3
Lesson Components Time Inquiry Skills Tech. Used Engage Level Brief Description
Engage 10 min 1.3, 3.7 Computer for video 1 Begin by watching the video of “Nature’s Masterpiece.”
Explore 15 min 3.5, 3.7, 4.2 none 3 Students collect data as they journey through the Spheres of Earth at five stations.
Explain 15 min (Day 1-4) 3.3, 3.5 none 3 Students will fill in a graphic organizer, graph their results, and answer questions about their journey.
Expand 20 min (Day 5) 7.2, 7.3 Computer to make video or make a poster 2 Students will use pictures from magazines or draw their own to make a poster to come up with example interactions between the 5 spheres. If technology is available, students will then create a video using movie maker of photos of their choice representing images of Earth’s Spheres.
Evaluate 10 min (Day 5) 7.3 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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