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Layers of the Earth Close Reading & Lab

Layers of the earth

Need a little help covering the Layers of the Earth in your middle school science class?

This standards-aligned close reading and lab unit is exactly what you are looking for!

Many students find Earth’s layers interesting to learn about. This unit will help your class learn about this subject! Students in middle school learn about the Earth’s Layers: crust, mantle, outer core, inner course, lithosphere, asthenosphere, and the properties and thickness of each layer of the Earth.

Students will also learn about the convection currents that happen deep within the layers of the Earth and the role this plays in plate tectonics and the recycling of the Earth’s materials.

If you use the suggested timeline for Teaching The Layers of the Earth, this resource will provide 8 days’ worth of lessons!

Students will read rich scientific passages on the properties of the Earth’s layers and participate in hands-on activities to learn about the composition of the Earth’s layers and how they affect changes on the Earth’s surface.
Students will develop a model to explain the cycling of materials and they will construct an explanation based on evidence to show how geoscience processes have changed the Earth’s surface.

Four pages of informational text on Earth’s Layers with a close reading activity:

reading passages for layers of the Earth

Response pages with text-dependent questions on The Earth’s Layers:

Worksheets for layers of the earth

The Earth’s Layers Interactive Notebook Flaps:

the earth's layers foldable
diagram of earth's layers

Students will love this Earth’s layers foldable!

Hands-on activities including a lab on convection currents:

https://youtu.be/rillK_Dy2lk

And more!

Like always, there are answer keys for everything.

This resource is designed to meet NGSS standards MS-ESS2-1 and MS-ESS2-2.

Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.

It also meets Utah SEEd standards 7.2.2 and 7.2.4.

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales. Examples of processes that occur at varying time scales could include slow plate motions or rapid landslides. Examples of processes that occur at varying spatial scales could include uplift of a mountain range or deposition of fine sediments.

Develop and use a scale model of the matter in the Earth’s interior to demonstrate how differences in density and chemical composition (silicon, oxygen, iron, and magnesium) cause the formation of the crust, mantle, and core

The Earth’s layers are interesting to learn about. Students will read rich scientific passages on the properties of the Layers of the Earth and participate in hands-on activities to learn about the composition of the Earth’s layers and how they affect changes on the Earth’s surface. This resource is aligned with the NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth Materials and Systems and The Role of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes.

Other teachers LOVE this Earth Layer resource!

Check out just two of the 140+ perfect reviews:

My students enjoyed this and myself teaching the 6th grade for the very first time . Excellent resource . This helped so much when I assigned them to make a model of the Earth . Great product.

Joan M.

My students loved the lab and reading passages and the interactive notebook inserts. Aligns well with standards.

Margaret B.

Try this unit in your classroom TODAY:

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Teaching Science with Lynda on Teachers Pay Teachers
  2. Here on teachingscience.us

Both downloads are identical in every way – if you download directly from this site, you’re giving me the maximum amount of support! Either way, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

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Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!

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