Journey to the Center of the Earth {teaching strategies}

My most recent unit involved teaching about the different layers of the earth. Students are required to know that the earth consists of these layers: a rocky outer crust, the mantle in which hot materials move, an outer core made of liquid metals, and a dense, metallic core. 
Teaching about the layers of the earth doesn’t have to be boring. Here are three great teaching strategies for use in the STEM class. Using YouTube video clips, interactive notebook activities, and visual vocabulary posters will help students with this earth science topic.

When I taught this unit, I began by showing students this YouTube video clip. For some reason the idea of Earth being like a layered cake appealed to me. {yummy analogy}
Students cracked up each time the "astronaut" got covered in dirt, goo, or rocks. To be honest, I'm considering making a cake next year and doing this as more of a demonstration. Maybe let the students devour the earth when I am done? But in a pinch, this video worked great.

We also compared the earth to an apple. I cut an apple in half, and we wrote analogies for each part of the apple and layer of the earth. 
1. peel : apple :: crust : earth
2. core : apple :: core : earth
3. fruit : apple :: mantle : earth
Teaching about the layers of the earth doesn’t have to be boring. Here are three great teaching strategies for use in the STEM class. Using YouTube video clips, interactive notebook activities, and visual vocabulary posters will help students with this earth science topic.
Students watched this BrainPop video {excellent resource if you or your school has an account} about Earth's structure.  We reviewed what each layer of the earth is composed of and created a folded paper diagram of the earth. Some students chose to add more color to their earth, but the most important part was the notes about each layer that they recorded on the flaps inside.
Teaching about the layers of the earth doesn’t have to be boring. Here are three great teaching strategies for use in the STEM class. Using YouTube video clips, interactive notebook activities, and visual vocabulary posters will help students with this earth science topic.
One strategy I often use when teaching vocabulary is to connect each word to a definition and a picture. Sometimes students draw their own diagrams, sometimes they use an interactive notebook template, and sometimes they create their own visual vocabulary posters with a partner. Here's an example of a student-created poster about the mantle of the earth.
Teaching about the layers of the earth doesn’t have to be boring. Here are three great teaching strategies for use in the STEM class. Using YouTube video clips, interactive notebook activities, and visual vocabulary posters will help students with this earth science topic.
I like to display visuals for the vocabulary we are learning about in the classroom. I have a science content word wall where I hang these visual vocabulary posters. I use the posters as I am introducing each term, and students reference them throughout the unit. I believe it really helps them to have an image to associate with each vocabulary word even if there isn't enough time to let them create their own.
Teaching about the layers of the earth doesn’t have to be boring. Here are three great teaching strategies for use in the STEM class. Using YouTube video clips, interactive notebook activities, and visual vocabulary posters will help students with this earth science topic.
Click HERE to download a copy of these ready-to-print vocabulary posters.

Are you on Pinterest?
What am I saying?!? Of course you are! Well, I've got a whole board dedicated to teaching students about the earth's geologic features. Check it out below!

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much! You just save one's life from her Final Teacher Demonstration. May the good Lord bless you a thousand folds.

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