Layers of the Atmosphere

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11831

Did you know there are all kinds of things in space that can hurt us? Not monsters, but big rocks and rays from the sun. Our Earth home has an atmosphere that protects us! Learn about this big bubble!


Earth Science, Space Science and Astronomy

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • When you look up into the sky, what do you see?

You might see the sun, moon, clouds, or even airplanes.

  • Do you see the troposphere and the mesosphere?

Learn about the layers of the atmosphere!

Pretend the earth is surrounded by a giant protective bubble.

This bubble protects the animals, plants, and people that live on the earth from harmful rays from the sun and helps keep the earth cool.

The earth's protective bubble is called the atmosphere. In this lesson, you will learn all about the layers of the atmosphere.

Earth's atmosphere

You and all the other living things on the earth live in the troposphere. The troposphere extends from the ground all the way up to about six miles into the air. Planes and jets fly through the troposphere. Weather also forms in the troposphere.

Above the troposphere is the stratosphere. The stratosphere extends up to twenty miles above the earth's surface. The stratosphere contains the ozone layer. The ozone layer protects all living things from harmful rays that come from the sun.

Above the stratosphere is the mesosphere. The protective mesosphere extends over thirty miles from the earth's surface. The mesosphere is very cold because the air is much thinner in this layer of the atmosphere.

The thermosphere is above the mesosphere. The thermosphere is a very hot layer that extends over two hundred miles above the earth's surface. This layer catches most of the sun's rays.

The final layer is the exosphere. The exosphere extends above the earth by over two hundred fifty miles.

Take a look at the diagram below and try to read the name of each layer of the atmosphere. 

atmosphere layers

After reading each layer aloud, move on to the Got It? section.

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