Earth Science: Layers of the Earth Hands-on Activity

Just adding this in on Tuesday: I found out today that I have Pneumonia which is why I’ve been feeling ever so lousy.


I first saw this activity last year at The Learning Ark. It fit in perfectly with our Earth Science unit. There is also a similar activity using a hard-boiled egg in the book we are using for this unit, How the Earth Works by Michelle O’Brien-Palmer.  One of the other books we are using, Planet Earth/Inside Out by Gail Gibbons, had some really good description and discussion of the layers of the earth. We used those books along with cards from Free Montessori.org to talk about the inner core, out core, mantle and crust.

As we read about each layer, we colored playdough and added a new layer.  We started with a small sphere. We kept adding layers until the ball was covered by the crust:

Then LD looked at the globe and tried to add the continents and oceans.  Would you believe, poor LD’s place of birth, Australia, didn’t really fit onto his globe??!  He stuck on a tiny, tiny piece of green playdough but it wasn’t much to scale!
Then LD wondered what we’d do with it.  His eyes got wide when I pulled out a butcher knife!
But he got right into slicing the world apart!
We were pretty excited by the results. The layers showed up really clearly!
And we could even talk about how different areas were thicker and thinner.

 

Just to mention–I made a large pot of playdough for the girls in the morning and we added the colors later in the day.  If you don’t add the colors when you’re first making playdough BE SURE to wear gloves!!
EARLIER IN THE DAY: The girls were happy with a very light pink — and this worked well for our layers of the earth colors later.  Even the inner core looks pretty yellow (the color we decided upon).

 

We’ll be sharing a few more of our Earth Science Activities in the next couple of days.

Be sure to check out our 150+ page Earth Science Packet!! 

Learn how to make a earthquake shake table, more than a dozen hands-on activities on the layers of the earth, volcanoes, earthquakes, plate movement and more!

Topics include: Solar System, Layers of the Earth, Earth’s Axis and the Seasons, Latitude and Longitude, Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, 4 Types of Mountains

Earth Science Packet

Earth-Science-Packet 150 page - worksheets hands-on activities and more

You might also want to check out our Layers of the Atmosphere Packet 

Layers of the Atmosphere Packet - Worksheets Hands-On Activities Notebook Pages Layers of the Atmosphere Printable Activity Earth Systems - Atmosphere Geosphere Hydrosphere Notebook Activity - Earth System Lapbook Pieces Earth's Atmosphere Packet 50+ pagesYou will find this packet and more in our Store!

You might also be interested in these related posts:

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~Liesl

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28 Responses

  1. WOW LOVE LOVE LOVE the earth science project!! he done wonderful!!!!!!!!! loved it!! will have to try that one myself!! thanks for sharing!

  2. WOW LOVE LOVE LOVE the earth science project!! he done wonderful!!!!!!!!! loved it!! will have to try that one myself!! thanks for sharing!

  3. Nil Ay says:

    it is a brilliant idea for teaching the layers. Thanks for sharing

  4. Nil Ay says:

    it is a brilliant idea for teaching the layers. Thanks for sharing

  5. FairyLover says:

    This project really makes the layers come alive. Great idea.Kathi Sewing, Knitting, Candle Making, Homeschooling Mama

  6. FairyLover says:

    This project really makes the layers come alive. Great idea.Kathi Sewing, Knitting, Candle Making, Homeschooling Mama

  7. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

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    • Liesl Den says:

      We use WordPress (up until this point I used blogspot). The thing is, since I’m on the blogging on the Parents team now there are elements of the blog that I don’t control (the adds, the general layout) so I’m not sure how easy that is to manipulate. There are a few things I don’t like about WordPress at this point, but again since I don’t have full access they might be issues that wouldn’t be a problem if I controlled everything (if you know what I mean). I’m not sure my answer was that helpful to you, but if you have other questions feel free to ask!

  8. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    oakley half jacket sunglasses

    • Liesl Den says:

      We use WordPress (up until this point I used blogspot). The thing is, since I’m on the blogging on the Parents team now there are elements of the blog that I don’t control (the adds, the general layout) so I’m not sure how easy that is to manipulate. There are a few things I don’t like about WordPress at this point, but again since I don’t have full access they might be issues that wouldn’t be a problem if I controlled everything (if you know what I mean). I’m not sure my answer was that helpful to you, but if you have other questions feel free to ask!

  9. Umm Umamah says:

    Hi Liesl,

    I simply LOVE your geaography activities. I will be linking back to you when we do some of them. For now here’s our layers of the earth 🙂

    http://umamahlearningacademy.blogspot.ca/2012/09/our-earth.html

    I would love to hear back from you 🙂

  10. Umm Umamah says:

    Hi Liesl,

    I simply LOVE your geaography activities. I will be linking back to you when we do some of them. For now here’s our layers of the earth 🙂

    http://umamahlearningacademy.blogspot.ca/2012/09/our-earth.html

    I would love to hear back from you 🙂

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