layer of the Earth

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Target Concept: Identifying Earth’s Layers
P.S: 8-3.1 Summarize the three layers of Earth—crust, mantle, and core—on the basis of
relative position, density, and composition.
Materials:
These are the materials needed to make 80 Jello cups
160 Plastic spoons (2 spoons for every Jello cup made)
4 Boxes of Red Jello
5 Boxes of Yellow Jello
8 Boxes of Blue Jello
1 Box of Graham Crackers
80 Small 5 ounce disposable cups (Dixie Cups – best if clear)
Paper Towels
Earth’s layers diagram
Definition of each layer
Procedures:
Preparation:
1) Lay out the number of cups needed
2) Make the Red Jello. Fill each cup about 20% (1/5) of the way.
3) Put the cups into the refrigerator until the Red Jello sets.
4) Make the Yellow Jello, let the liquid cool off (you may put just the Yellow Jello in
the refrigerator to cool off but make sure it does not turn into a gel yet) so that the
Red Jello does not melt and the layers do not blend together when the Yellow Jello is
added to the cups. Add the Yellow Jello to each cup until the cup is about half full
with Red and Yellow Jello. (The Red and Yellow Jello together should fill up half
the cup.)
5) Put the cups into the refrigerator again until the Yellow Jello sets.
6) Make the Blue Jello and again let it cool off. Add the Blue Jello to the cups until the
cups are about 90% of the way full.
7) Put the cups into the refrigerator again until the Blue Jello sets.
8) Crush up the Graham Crackers. Add a thin layer of crushed graham crackers to the
top of each cup.
9) The Jello cups are finished
a) Red = Inner core (~1300 km or 20%)
b) Yellow = Outer core (~2250 km or 34%)
c) Blue = Mantle (~2900 km or 45%)
d) Graham Cracker = Crust (~40 km or 1%)
10) The yellow and the blue Jello may blend together a little to make green no matter how
the Jello is prepared. In this case, the students should pretend the yellow and the
green are the same color.
Activity:
11) Break the class into pairs. Each pair receives a Jello cup, two spoons, two Earth’s
layers diagrams, and a definition sheet.
12) Tape a copy of the instructions to the desk for each pair of students. (Direction sheet
is below)
13) The students are to use the spoons to take a “sample” of the Jello cup and place it on
paper towel.
14) The students then fill out the diagram.
a) The labels on the diagram below should be replaced with blanks.
b) It is up to the teacher whether or not to leave in the layer thickness in the diagram.
You could require the students to label the thickness.
15) When the students finish it is up to the teacher on whether or not the students can eat
the Jello. If the Jello was made in beakers or other containers used to mix chemicals
then it is probably not a good idea to allow the students to eat the Jello.
Directions:
1. Use the spoons to take a sample of your cup.
Make sure to get a sample of everything in
the cup.
2. Take out the diagram sheet
3. Label the layers on the diagram based on the
colors from the JELLO cup. Each layer
should have a color assigned to it.
4. Look at the definition sheet and label each
of the layers based on the definition that fits
the description of the layer the best.
5. Write in the thickness of each layer in the
correct place.
6. Answer the rest of the questions on your
diagram sheet.
Directions: 1.) Label the layers on the diagram based on the colors from the JELLO cup.
Each layer should have a color assigned to it. 2.) Then look at the definition sheet and
label each of the layers based on the definition that fits the description of the layer the
best. 3.) Write in the thickness of each layer in the correct place.
Definitions:
1.Crust: The Earth’s outer most surface
that is solid and is 8 – 40 kilometers
thick.
2.Mantle: The part of the Earth that is
below the Crust and above the Core that
is about 2900 kilometers thick and has
both solid and liquid material.
3.Outer Core: The liquid layer of the
Earth that is below the Mantle and is
about 2200 kilometers thick.
4.Inner Core: The innermost layer of the
Earth that is the hottest, solid, and is
about 1300 kilometers thick.
5.Core: The innermost layer of the Earth
just below the Mantle that is made up of
the Outer Core and the Inner Core and is
about 3500 kilometers thick.
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