Contributor: Rebecca Highland. Lesson ID: 10372

Did you know the Earth is surrounded by blankets? Blankets of air, that is! Using a video, online articles, PowerPoint, and a fun, messy project, learn about the names of layers of Earth's atmosphere!


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


When you think of layers, what do you think of? Cake? Chickens? Did you know the Earth’s atmosphere has layers?

Take a deep breath.

  • Do you know why you can do that?

One of the layers of the Earth’s atmosphere supports life!

  • Which layer is it?

In this lesson, you will explore each layer of the Earth’s atmosphere using video, Internet resources, and fun activities and projects.

You can think of the atmosphere as a big blanket around the Earth. Really, you can think of it as five blankets around the Earth.

Each blanket is a different layer, or sphere. You can also think of it as a layer cake. The lowest and closest layer, the one where all of the weather occurs, and where we live, is called the troposphere. The other layers include: stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere.

The layers of the Earth may appear invisible to us, but they have been identified because they each contain different characteristics.

Complete the following activities to learn about the layers or spheres of the Earth’s atmosphere:

    1. Read All About the Earth's Atmosphere, from Easy Science for Kids, to learn about the characteristics of each layer of the atmosphere, as well as how far above Earth each layer is.
    2. View beautiful photos of the Earth’s atmosphere at National Geographic's atmosphere.
    3. Watch Layers of Atmosphere – The Dr. Binocs Show | Educational Videos for Kids:


Discuss what you have learned from the reading, photos, and video with your teacher.

Now, go on to the Got It? section to rise a little higher with some fun atmosphere activities!

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