Hands-on Center (Earth's Layers)
Lesson #1

Eating the Earth

Materials:
  1. One-fourth of an apple for each student
  2. 1 knife

The teacher will cut each apple into four pieces, cutting from the top (stem side) down through the core. Each student should receive 1/4 of an apple. The teacher will point out the similarities between the apple and the Earth's layers (see notes below).



The skin of the apple will represent the crust of the Earth. The teacher will point out how thin the skin is in comparison to the "meat" and the core. Explain to the students that the crust compared to the rest of the Earth is much thinner than the skin is to the rest of the apple.
The "meat" of the apple will represent the mantle of the Earth. Explain to the students that the mantle is the largest layer of the Earth. The mantle is composed of molten rock that is in a semi-plastic state. The mantle's composition is similar to very hot asphalt.
The core of the apple will represent the outer and inner cores of the Earth. Make sure that the students understand the Earth's core is composed of two layers. Point out that the core is like a little round ball in the middle of the Earth. The outer core is actually composed of very hot liquid metals, nickel and iron. The inner core is composed of the same nickel and iron but in a solid state because of intense pressure.
The students should have a science experiment notebook. Instruct them to draw and label a diagram of this and every hands-on experiment. Direct the students to write notes of what they learn as the experiment is being conducted.
The students should draw a model of the layers of the Earth in their science notebooks labeling the crust, mantle, and the core.
The students may eat the model of the Earth after the demonstration!
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