Lesson Plan: Major Earth Systems

Topic: Science

Class: 5

Objective of the lesson: Understand and demonstrate how the major Earth systems interact with each other

Next Generation Scientific Standard: 5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe the interactions between the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and / or atmosphere.



To say:

  • What is the Earth made of? (Let students respond.)


To say:

  • The Earth is made up of rocks, soil, water and air. There are four different systems that make up the Earth.
  • They are called geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere.
  • The geosphere is made up of solid and molten rocks, soils and sediments. These make up the core, mantle and crust of the earth.
  • The hydrosphere is made up of water and ice. This includes all the oceans and the troposphere. 97% of water is found in salty oceans and the rest is vapor or droplets in the atmosphere or liquid in lakes, rivers or glaciers.
  • The atmosphere is aerial. The atmosphere is divided into different layers.
  • The biosphere is all living things, including humans. The biosphere is made up of different living areas or biomes.
  • These systems interact with each other and the way they interact affects the Earth.
  • The hydrosphere and the geosphere interact in different ways. One of the main ways they interact is through the hydrosphere causing erosion by running water and precipitation. The hydrosphere provides precipitation for the vegetation that grows on the geosphere. Can you think of anything else? (Let students respond.)
  • The atmosphere and the geosphere also interact in different ways. The main way is for the atmosphere to trap solar radiation, which keeps the Earth warm. Can you think of anything else? (Let students respond.)
  • Now you are going to design a model that shows how the hydrosphere and the geosphere interact or how the atmosphere or the geosphere interacts. I have clay, paper, and machines to use. You will explain your model to all of us when you are finished.
  • Anyone have any questions?


To say:

  • Who would like to share and explain your model? (Allow students to share.)

Written by Education World® Contributing Writer Kimberly Greacen

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience writing curriculum and developing educational materials to align with the Common Core Standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Copyright © 2019 World of Education

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