Subject:ScienceLesson Duration:30 MinutesState Standards:Colorado academic Standards because that Science: 4th Grade3.1.d – build a scientific explanation for relationships of the contents of the solar system.Thinking Skills:Understanding: recognize the main idea of product heard, viewed, or read. Analyze or summarize the concepts in very own words.

You are watching: The densest layer of earth is the

Essential Question

What walk the within of the earth look like and why?


Students will be able to list and also identify the different layers that make up the Earth and also how gravity plays a duty in the development of the planet.


Our planet planet is created of numerous layers. Each layer has a unique thickness (density = mass/volume). Scientists think that all planets created on the communication of gravity. Therefore, the layering of planet is a an outcome of gravitational pull. The densest class (inner core) is at the center and the least dense layer (crust) is the outermost layer. The atmosphere, written of gases, deserve to technically be taken into consideration a layer together well and is obviously lighter than the crust.

But why room planets’ layers spherical in shape? Gravity works most efficiently on other particles as soon as pulling in every directions possible, such as a sphere. Due to the fact that gravity originates in ~ the facility of an item and pulls various other particles towards it, the particles try to acquire as near as feasible to the facility of gravity. However, thickness determines i beg your pardon particles will be closer and also which will be furthest native the center. This results in the layering the Earth and also other planets, through the densest class closest come the center.


You will certainly need:5 color of beat dough (yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and optional white)

A file plate

A plastic knife or popsicle stick

A clean plastic straw (best to use a special straw to avoid bending)

Diagram the the Earth"s class (included)


A diagram mirroring an inside look at the class of planet earth made by NASA.

Download earth Layers Diagram

Lesson Hook/Preview

The planet is like an onion; it has layers! This task will display you what the within of the planet looks like.


#1: Roll a small ball (about the size of a gumball) the each shade of beat dough. The yellow ball deserve to be slightly smaller sized than the rest. If you desire to do clouds you will certainly only require a small bit of white and also don"t must roll it choose the rest.#2: Take the ball of yellow beat dough and set it in the facility of your file plate.This is the first layer referred to as the inner core. Each layer has actually a unique thickness (density=mass/volume). The thickness will decrease through each layer as we relocate outward from the inner core. This is as result of gravity. The denser miscellaneous is, the much more gravity will certainly pull on it. For this reason the densest materials are pulled closer come the very center the the earth while less thick layers settle further away from the center.The inner main point is in ~ the center of the Earth due to the fact that it is the densest, made of heavy iron and also nickel.#3: Take the ball of orange pat dough and also flatten it into a rough circle. As soon as it is flat, wrap it about the yellow ball and also cover it completely. The whole ball must look favor it is orange through no yellow showing.This new layer is the external core. The external core is made of liquid iron that is slightly less thick than the hard inner core. This is why it rests end the inner core, yet is is tho denser the the following layer.

#4: Flatten the red ball and wrap it about the orange choose you did in action three. Make certain there is no orange reflecting now.

This is the mantle. This layer is comprised of molten rock called magma. When the molten absent is erupted ~ above the surface it is then referred to as lava.

#5: Flatten the green ball and also cover the red through it.

This is the crust. The Earth"s late is make of solid rock that floats on height of the magma in the mantle comparable to exactly how ice floats in water. The continent are component of the crust.

#6: Flatten the blue ball and wrap it roughly the green.

This shade represents the atmosphere, i m sorry is do of gasses making it the least dense and outermost class that makes up the Earth.

#7: If you"d prefer to, you can put extra bits of environment-friendly to represent the continents that would show through the atmosphere. Girlfriend can likewise use bits that the white pat dough to make clouds too.

#8: placed your beat dough model of planet on the paper plate. Use the plastic knife to very closely cut the play dough sphere in fifty percent and look at the inside of it. You should see the different layers of color.

This is what a cross ar of the planet planet would look like. Have the right to you make comparisons in between your version of Earth and also the diagram?

#9: Lay one half of the model on the plate v the flat component down. Take it the straw and also push it with the center. Pull the straw v so you can look in ~ it. There need to be pat dough stuck within the straw.

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You room looking at a “core” sample of what the planet looks like. Geologists will certainly take core samples to look in ~ rocks that they can’t see on the surface.


Density: noun; the massive of a substance per unit volume (Density= mass/volume)

Gravity: noun; the gravitational attraction that the fixed of a heavenly human body (such as Earth) because that bodies at or close to its surface

Geologist: noun; a human being who researches the history of the Earth and its life as taped in rocks

Magmanoun; molten rock product within the earth

Lavanoun; melted rock coming indigenous a volcano

Assessment Materials


Look at the half of your model planet you didn"t take it a core sample from. Deserve to you name each layer? compare your core sample to what you check out in the overcome section. 

Additional Resources

Check out our various other Earth"s class webpage for action by action instructions v pictures!