Lesson Plan - Get It!
Did you know that the air you breath is actually 78% nitrogen? Why, then do we learn that oxygen is so important? How do all of these gasses mix together to make the air safe for humans? There are so many questions about the atmosphere, or air, of planets. But there is one thing we do know: Earth is the only planet with breathable air!
Earth is the planet we live on, and it is perfect for human beings!
The planet Earth is the third planet from the sun and is very complicated. To truly understand the Earth, you need to put your hands on it. Start with the Activity: Earth: More Land or More Water? by Joan Barksdale from Education.com (it is below*). You will need a parent, another student, or a teacher to do this with you.
You will need:
- An inflatable beach ball globe, around 12" diameter (if you cannot find one, ask your teacher or parent to create one with a balloon, and draw the earth and water on it).
*What you do (directions are written for the adult):
- To start the activity, toss the inflatable globe to your child, encouraging him or her to catch it with both hands, all fingers spread wide.
- After he catches it, ask your child to look where each of his or her thumbs landed. Did they end up on land or on water?
- Have your child throw the globe back to you. Note where your thumbs have landed.
- Start a chart for both you and your child. After each toss, note where each thumb landed, marking "W" for water and "L" for land, depending on what happens.
- Keep tossing the globe back and forth to one another for about 6-10 tosses. Don't forget to write down your results!
- When you are done tossing the globe and recording your results, look at your chart together and describe what you see. Which one is more: land or water? How do you know?
What did you discover about the Earth? Did you find out that Earth is made up of more water than land? To be exact, Earth is made up of 71% water! Can you believe that? Land is only 29% of the Earth's surface, and that is where all the people live. Think about that for a moment.
To give you an idea of how much of Earth is water, take a piece of paper and fold it in half, then fold it in half again, into four squares:
If Earth were flat, which we know it's not, one of these squares would the land that people live on, and the other three squares would be all water!
Learning about our planet is a great way to understand how we as humans are able to survive on the resources, and just how valuable those resources are. Earth is also very unique in the way it revolves around the sun and rotates on its axis, providing just the right amount of gravity to keep us from floating into space. Here are some more fun facts:
- Earth is the heaviest planet in the universe.
- Earth has an invisible force called gravity that keeps you from floating away.
- Earth is not perfectly round but has a slight bulge in the middle. Review Earth Science's graphic shows the bulge around the middle of the earth.
- Earth is spinning very fast, but you can't feel it because of gravity.
- Earth is also revolving around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour! Are you dizzy yet?
- It takes the Earth 365¼ days to rotate around the sun, which is one calendar year.
- We have day and night because we spin around and the sun stays in one place.
- Earth has one moon, and the Earth and moon work together to cause the ocean's tides (the rise and fall of the ocean water).
- The hottest place on Earth hits 136 degrees Fahrenheit!
- Earth has seven land masses, called continents.
- The continent of Antarctica is holding 70% of Earth's fresh water, mostly in the form of ice.
For a more in-depth look at planet Earth, check out The Planet Earth: Astronomy and Space for Kids – FreeSchool:
This Earth we live on is amazing, and has so many interesting facts that we could go on and on! Living on Earth is quite simply remarkable and in the Got It? section, you will get to see why some of the facts above are important to understand.