Before Strategy/Engage: 25 minutes
1. The teacher should show the following video clip: "Journey to the Center of the Earth-Official Trailer" from youtube.com. As the students view the video clip, the teacher should ask them to focus on the accurate and inaccurate portrayals of Earth's interior.
2. After viewing the video clip, the teacher should ask students to sketch and label a diagram of the Earth's interior. The teacher should instruct students that this diagram does not have to be perfect, instead, students should focus on representing the information they currently know about the layers of Earth's interior. The teacher should allow the students approximately 5-10 minutes to complete their diagram.
3. After students have completed their labeled sketch of the Earth's interior, the teacher should allow students to share and discuss their diagram with a partner. During the discussion, the students should be allowed to add or change their diagram as they see fit.
4. Next, the teacher should display a scientifically-accurate, labeled diagram, such as "Earth's Interior Diagram". The students should compare their diagram to the diagram shown by the teacher. The teacher should allow student volunteers to share the similarities and differences between the various diagrams. The teacher can begin a class discussion by posing the following questions:
- What similarities do you see between your diagram and the diagram on the board?
- What differences do you see between the two diagrams?
- Did you leave out any layers of the Earth's interior? If so, which ones?
- Did you add things to your diagram that are not actually part of Earth's interior?
During Strategy/Explore & Explain: 45 minutes
1. The teacher should give each student a copy of "Earth's Interior Layers" Jot Chart. Students will need access to the articles listed in the materials section. Students may use a printed copy of the article or access the article online using an internet-capable device.
"How Many Licks Does it Take to Get to the Center?" from Utah State Office of Science Education
"Inside the Earth" from National Geographic
"The Earth's Interior" from rocksandminerals4u.com
"Inferred Properties of Earth's Interior" from New York Science Teacher
"How do we Know What's Inside Earth?" from U.S. Array
"Earth's Structure" from Trinity University
"Structure of the Earth" from physicalgeography.net
Note: The teacher may also make use of other available informational text resources, such as classroom textbooks.
2. Students will read the articles while completing the "Earth's Interior Layers" Jot Chart. This note taking strategy will require students to read a variety of informational texts and graphics and organize the information into a table. Students will learn the composition, thickness, density, pressure, and temperature of the Earth's interior layers. In addition, this jot chart will require students to analyze the available evidence and determine how we have gained data about Earth's interior, as it can not be observed directly.
After Strategy/Explain & Elaborate: 45+ minutes
Note: The teacher should decide whether to allow students to work independently, in partners, or in collaborative groups for the final portion of the lesson. Depending on the available time and resources in the classroom, the teacher may allow students to create their model during class or assign this project as homework.
1. The teacher should explain that students will be creating a model of Earth's interior layers based on the research conducted in the previous part of the lesson. In addition to creating a model, the students will create a presentation (poster, PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.) to explain the evidence they used to create the model and the role of thermal convection in the movement of Earth's materials.
2. The teacher should give each student a copy of the "Earth's Layers Model and Presentation Rubric". The teacher should discuss his or her specific expectations with students.
3. Next, the teacher should give each student a copy of the "Earth's Layers Model and Presentation Planning Guide". This sheet will guide students in developing an accurate model of Earth's layers using the evidence from the jot chart during the previous portion of the lesson. The planning sheet will also assist students in developing their presentation, which should explain how the model was created based on available evidence and the role of thermal convection in the movement of Earth's materials.
4. After students have planned their project, the teacher should review each student's plan to ensure the project is feasible. The teacher may allow students time in class or at home to complete the model and presentation. After students have had ample time to complete the project, the teacher should allow students to present their model to their classmates. The teacher will formally assess each student's model and presentation using the "Earth's Layers Model and Presentation Rubric".