This fun science lab project for younger students provides a basic visualization of the Earth’s layers. The students participate in creating a colorful representation of the geological layers, while learning simple facts about each section. In addition, children learn the proper way to use a compass to draw circles. For smaller hands, holding the compass point in place and spinning the paper around is often easier until the circle is completed.
*Compasses with pencils
*Red, green, orange, and yellow paper
Have your students cut out all the circles and the earth. Students will color the earth page.
Each student will glue the layers of the earth – crust on the bottom, glue the mantle in the middle of the crust, outer core in the middle of the mantle, and the inner core in the middle of the outer core.
I used a little glue to glue the earth cover on the left side of the colored layers. Students can flip open the earth cover to reveal the layers.
On each layer, I wrote the name and how thick each is. If you teach your students about it, you can even have them write the temperature or properties of each layer.
You can discuss the properties of each layer as student cut/glue or you can provide them with the following information:
Start with the inner core and cut out the smallest circle. The inner core, the center of the Earth consists of hot metals, mainly iron.
Next in size in the cutouts is the circle for the outer core. Made up of mainly iron and nickel, this layer is so hot — up to 9000 degrees Fahrenheit, that the metals are liquefied.
The third circle represent the mantle layer. Although made up of rock, the mantle shifts by moving slowly. This movement is what causes earthquakes, volcanoes and the formation of mountains.
This is where we live, the top of which we call “the ground.” The crust is made up of various rocks, minerals, sand and soil and ranges from five to approximately 25 miles in thickness. Represent this layer with the largest circle.
If you like this activity and would like to do it with your students, you may download the free template here.