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Science Lesson Plan: Layers of the Earth

Subject:  Science

Grade: 1

Lesson Objective: To understand the layered structure of the Earth

Common Core Standard:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.2 - Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.


  • A globe
  • Picture of Earth's layers for coloring, easily found online
  • Colored pencils
  • A whiteboard or a blackboard
  • Different colored pens to draw and write on the board



Ask: Do you know what is inside Earth?

Show the globe to the students.

Ask: "What do you think there is inside it?" 

Wait for students' answers and then distribute the coloring printables. Check if all students have the necessary materials, so none of them feels excluded from the activity.



Say: Do all of you have a coloring picture and pencils? 

If all of the students have the material, proceed.

Say: Planet Earth is made of three layers. Right in the center of the Earth, there is the core. 

Make a drawing of the Earth on the board, and draw each layer as you talk about them.

Say: The core is divided into two parts: the inner core—made of a solid metal called iron—and the outer core—also made out of iron, but in a hot, liquid form.

See if students have any doubts about the term "iron." If they do, explain it to them.

Say: Now, you guys can paint the core yellow! 

As students finish coloring, see if any doubts arise. 

Say: The middle layer of the Earth is the mantle, made of soft rock. Go on and paint the mantle orange!

Point to it in the drawing you gave the children and also write its name on the board. 

Say: Do you think we live in the core or the mantle? Or do you think we live in the third layer, the crust? 

Wait for students' answers. Their answers to the question will probably be that we live on the crust.

Say: Many years ago, when Earth was formed, its core was really hot. As time went by, its temperature started to drop, and the mantle and the crust appeared. The last layer of the Earth is the one we live on: the crust. Grass, rivers, lakes, and mountains are all part of the crust. Paint the crust green and blue! 

Say: Do you have any questions? 

If students are having difficulty understanding what layers are, compare the Earth and an onion. Onions have layers that you can peel off until you reach their center. Our planet is the same—it has layers and a core.

Check if all the students painted the layers and see if they wrote "core," "mantle," and "crust" correctly.




Say: Let's check if you really know planet Earth! How many layers are there? 

Allow students to share their answers and check if they are correct.

Say: What are the names of Earth's layers? 

Wait for the answers. If necessary, write the layers' names as students answer.

Say: What is your favorite layer and why? 

Let students be creative with their answers and use this moment as an opportunity to check if they properly understood the lesson's content.


Written by Maria Tozello

Education World Contributor

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