This year, we have been using a new (to us) science curriculum, CKE Earth & Space, and are really liking it so far. I’ve been looking for years to find a science program that would work well to teach multiple ages at the same time and we have finally found it!
The program is laid out so that there is a teaching time and a hands-on time. The kids also have notebooks that correspond with what they are learning. It’s working really well for us. They like the hands-on activities the best.
The most recent lesson was on the structure of the Earth. There were several hands-on activities suggested in the CKE book, including this one for demonstrating the layers of the Earth.
To create this 3D model of the layers of the Earth, you will need 5 colours of modelling clay and waxed dental floss.
Form a ball to represent the inner core. We chose red to represent the intense heat of the inner core.
Next, roll out a circle of another colour and wrap around the ball and roll gently. This next layer represents the outer core.
Each subsequent colour will need more modelling clay than the last. You will need a colour to represent the lower mantle, another for the upper mantle, and the outer layer for the crust.
You will not want to press the layers too firmly together so that the colours don’t mix.
Once your ball of 5 layers of modelling clay is complete, use a piece of waxed dental floss to cut the ball down the middle, revealing all the layers underneath.
The CKE notebook also includes a diagram to go along with this lesson that my kids were able to colour when we completed our 3D model. This way, they could use the same colours as the modelling clay that we used to further reinforce what they had learned.
If you are looking for other hands-on Science activities for learning about the Earth, you may be interested in following my CKE Earth & Space Pinterest board.