Earth's Crust 1 - Earth's Layers and Volcanoes

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10499

Ever eat a fresh pie? There are nice warm apples inside the crust! The Earth has a crust, too, and volcanoes help us know what's inside. Watch Bill Nye and create a hot project about Earth's crust!


Earth Science

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5), Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What can we learn about the inside of the Earth from volcanoes? Are all volcanoes the same? Let’s explore.

This is the first lesson in our Earth's Crust series about how the Earth changes and how Earth’s features are formed.

Each lesson digs deeper into topics such as the Earth’s crust, layers of the Earth, volcanoes, plate tectonics, and geysers. You can complete them individually, or as a set, to explore and understand the changing Earth.

There are internal and external forces that are constantly changing the Earth.

  • Internal forces cause changes that happen inside Earth.
  • External forces cause changes that happen outside the Earth.

In this lesson, you will explore the layers of the earth, the internal forces that cause change, and different types of volcanoes.

Watch Earth’s Crust Bill Nye the Science Guy 1/3 from (below). As you watch, pause the video to take notes using the Graphic Organizer – Notes, found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. Use the questions below as a guide to assist you in note taking:

  • How do scientists know that what is underneath the Earth’s crust is different from what is on top? Check out National Geographic Kids Structure of the Earth!.
  • What is the core of the Earth made of and what is its approximate temperature?
  • What makes up the outer core of the Earth?
  • Describe Earth’s mantle and its temperature.
  • Describe the Earth’s crust.
  • Why are volcanoes so important to scientists?
  • Discover more about a Career as a Volcanologist from Scholastic Inc.
  • What are the two kinds of volcanoes? Check out Types of Volcanoes by Rader's for more information.


Now, move on to the Got It? section to complete some fun activities!

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