Lesson Plan : Edible Earth

Teacher Name:
 Jessica Billeci
Grade:
 Grade 9-10
Subject:
 Social Studies

Topic:
 Earth's Structure and Layers
Content:
 -The four layers of the Earth, and their characteristics -What the earth's layers are composed of: Iron, nickel, rocks, plastics, soil Vocab: scientific theory, geology, inner core, outer core, mantle, crust, magma, lava, molten.
Goals:
 Students will be able to identify the 4 layers of Earth and describe their unique characteristics. Students will make connections between the Earth's structure and the physical features on the surface.
Objectives:
 Given a diagram of Earth's layers, the student will label each layer, Given an ice cream model of Earth's layers, the student will differentiate at least one layer and one characteristic of that layer.
Materials:
 Ice cream model of Earth's layers Plates/Napkins/Utensils Large spatula Power Point Student Packets
Introduction:
 Introduce the idea of Earth as a constantly changing entity, using the power point. Discuss the meaning of scientific theory and why the diagram of the Earth may not be completely accurate but its what we can determine with what we know so far. Have a student pass out textbooks, while having all students take out their packets.
Development:
 As a class, read page 40 in text from "The Earth's Structure" to "Land and Water", and dicuss the questions on the guided reading worksheet on page 10 of student packets as relevent information is read.
Practice:
 Bring out the Ice Cream model, and review the layers of the Earth. To get a piece of the ice cream, students have to have their worksheet filled in and be able to identify one characteristic of a layer of their choice. Have the class president, or student helper, cut the model into pieces using the spatula and put onto plates. Another student can serve ice cream to students that have been cleared with the teacher.
Accommodations:
 Students who can not eat the ice cream, or do not want to eat ice cream, must still identify a characteristic of a layer. They can also create a simple diagram of the layers of the Earth using whatever art supplies are available- markers, color pencils, etc. if they so choose.
Checking For Understanding:
 As they eat their ice cream walk around and ask questions about the layers. Ask them to identify "the green layer" (the crust), why they think the mantle layers has nuts and marshmallows (because the mantle has hard and pliable spots), what the components of inner core are (nickel and iron), etc.
Closure:
 If there is time, play clip from Planet Earth: Mountains DVD, about the volcanic Ethopian highlands. If not, just review and relate it to plate tectonics and internal forces of change (which is the next lesson).
Evaluation:
 The worksheets will be graded at the end of the unit, and the concepts will be included on the test.
Teacher Reflections:
 This lesson was very effective. Every student wanted a piece, and even those who were spacing during the lecture started scanning their texts to fill in their worksheets. They even began asking questions, unprompted, about the marshmallows and why the outer core was dyed red, and answering them for each other. I wrote this lesson plan after the fact, so i added a worksheet as independent practice because I think that is an important component I missed. We also never got to the movie that day, but in a longer class period I think it would have all worked out. We ended up having time to watch it at the end of that week, when the concepts were still pretty fresh in their minds.

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