Earth's Surface Teacher Resources
Find Earth's Surface educational ideas and activities
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Looking Into Surface Albedo
How does the color of a surface affect the heating of the earth? Middle school science classes experiment with color and surface albedo to determine the relationship. The website has tabs for an overview, teacher's instructions, background and extension ideas, and a student lab sheet. It is richly detailed and will provide an apt activity for your earth science curriculum.
Earth Surface and Layers
Students depict the various layers of the Earth through an interactive art project. In this Earth's layers lesson, students listen to the book How to Dig a Hole to the other Side of the World and make speculations of why the center of the earth is made up of iron and nickel. Students use colored sand to create an art project showing the various layers of Earth.
Floating Plates on the Earth
Fourth graders construct a concept map about Plate Tectonics. They include types of movement, names and effects of boundaries. They research plate tectonics, describe and name 3 types. They analyze the effect on the earth's surface of plate activity.
Earth's Changing Surface
Students identify landforms created by forces of nature. In this lesson on Earth's surface, students watch a video about the Earth's surface and use satellite images of the United States to identify various changes seem in the surface of the Earth.
Students discuss the use of satellites and GPS for navigation, tracking, and creating detailed maps. They view satellite images of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Mammoth Cave, and the Grand Canyon using Google maps. After viewing the images, they describe the natural forces that shaped the landforms. Partners research other landforms shaped by natural forces and draw pictures with descriptions.
Earth Surface Socratic Questions
Students explore the ways Earth's surface is shaped by hydrologic, climate and tectonic forces by participating in a whole class discussion. They respond to prompts that lead them to conclusions about the relationships between landforms and the geologic and biologic processes that create the landforms.
The Role of the Atmosphere and Greenhouse Effect in Determining the Surface Temperature of the Earth
Students complete research and solve problems that show the factors that determine the temperature of the earth's surface including the effect of greenhouse gases. They look at the relationships between solar energy, atmosphere, and how solar energy is reflected and absorbed.
Looking into Surface Albedo
Students demonstrate how the color of materials on Earth affect the amount of solar energy that is absorbed. In this solar energy instructional activity students complete a lab to explore how the color of materials on the Earth's surface impacts warming.
Images of Our Changing Earth
Students identify and explain that remote sensing can detect changes on the Earth's surface that occur over time, and name at least three: urbanization, deforestation, and succession. They select a global change issue to investigate and prepare a short presentation to the class with audio-visuals about their issue(s) or what are the hot topics in current events.
In this black hole activity, learners use the equation for time dilation to solve 8 problems including determining the time it takes to receive a GPS signal from space, the time delay for the GPS-Earth system, the distance a radio signal will travel and the ratio of dilation in space to dilation at earth's surface.
Reflecting on Reflectivity
Students plan and construct a "mini-lab" to measure the reflectivity of different earth surfaces. They measure reflectivity of materials, including ice, soil, rocks, etc., and then extrapolate from what they have learned to consider the impacts of melting ice on the Arctic.
Earth Science: How Does the Earth's Surface Change?
Fourth graders explore the Earth's changing surface. In this earth science activity, 4th graders conduct a scientific experiment that replicates the wearing away of minerals. Students write paragraphs that make connections between the experiment and how the Earth's surface changes.
Changes in Earth's surface
Fourth graders use sand, clay, and water to try and make the Grand Canyon. In this Earth's surface lesson plan, 4th graders discuss how the use of water when flooded can change the Earth's surface. They explore how it would change the look of sand or clay over time.
Earth's Energy Cycle: Albedo
Students complete all of the steps in the scientific inquiry process to study Earth's energy cycle; most specifically temperature and the effects of albedo (energy reflected back from Earth's surface) on temperature.
Moving the Earth
Fifth graders simulate the three primary types of fault movement lateral fault, reverse fault, and normal fault by positioning their hands and applying pressure to them to observe the similar action taking place in the Earth's crust.
Students study the earth in relation to the solar system. In this planetary lesson students complete several investigations into the measurement of the earth and its magnetic field.
Young scholars read an online article about an earthquake and follow up with a series of discussion questions about earthquakes. They answer questions in their science journals about continental drift, plate tetonics, and their influence on earthquakes. They draw diagrams and label the layers of earth in their notebooks.
Earth System Science
Young scholars explore the Earth and its ability to support life. They discuss the geosphere and the water cycle and complete the Water Wonders activity. After completing the activity, they respond in their journals and reflect upon the Earth's systems.
Students identify the structure of the earth by creating a model of the core, mantle and crust. They demonstrate the forces within the earth that cause constant changes on the earth's surface.
Globe Lesson 14 - Earth and Sun
For this Earth and Sun worksheet, students read 2 instructional passages and respond to 5 fill in the blank and short answer questions regarding these geographic topics.