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.
*Template (free download)
*White, red, green, orange, and yellow paper
*Thin marker or pen
*Crayons or colored pencils
1.Copy the cover page on white paper, the crust on green, mantle on red, outer core on orange, and inner core on yellow. Alternatively, you can print everything on white paper and have students color the layers.
2.Give your students one of each page and have them cut out all the circles and the Earth cover page. Students will color the Earth page.
3.Each student will glue the layers of the Earth together – 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.
4.Glue the Earth cover on the left side. Students can flip open the Earth cover to reveal the layers.
5.On each layer, I wrote the name and how thick each is. 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:
Inner Core (800 miles thick)
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.
Outer Core (1400 miles thick)
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.
Mantle (1800 miles thick)
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.
Crust (25 miles thick)
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.