Today was all about layers, layers in the Earth and in the atmosphere. As the kids arrived they started putting together a lift the flap type thing that showed the structure of the Earth. The foldable is by Nitty Gritty Science.
Once everyone was done putting that together we watched Everything You Need to Know about Planet Earth by In a Nutshell – Kurzgesagt.
We didn’t watch this one in class, but its kind of cute and it would easy enough to make your own earth cake at home.
The Everything You Need to Know About Planet Earth video also talked about they layers in the atmosphere and the Earth: Power of the Planet video series by BBC has an entire episode on the atmosphere so we watched the first 20 minutes or so of that on Netflix. You can find bits and pieces of it on youtube:
The kids then made a model to scale of the layers of the atmosphere in their notebook. I had already cut the paper to size so they just had to glue them in the right order and label each layer. Like illustrations of the solar system, posters of the layers of the atmosphere are rarely to scale and show the atmosphere extending out to distances twice as far as the surface of the earth, while in reality its just a very thin layer around our planet. For the model we made for the notebook, an earth to scale would have filled my living room! The exosphere extends way past the edge of the book and most of the ‘air’ is in the lowest two layers, the troposphere and stratosphere. Even in the stratosphere you would need an oxygen tank and protection against the cold and low pressures.