Without visual exposure to what the Earth's core looks like in relation to its surface, a child may have a difficult time grasping the concept. In order to help your pupil better understand what the Earth is made of, create a model of the Earth showing the core. You can even have him engage in a hands-on project to create his own model, teaching the necessary lesson while keeping your student's attention.
Items you will need
- Small or medium Styrofoam ball
- Red paint
- Orange clay
- Yellow clay
- Blue clay
- Green clay
Cover your work area with newspaper for simple clean-up.
Paint the Styrofoam ball red. This will serve as the Earth's inner core which is 808 miles in diameter in actual size. Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding with the project.
Flatten out a portion of orange clay large enough to cover the Styrofoam ball. The orange clay will represent the outer core and should be a little less than twice as thick as the inner core as it is 1,376 miles thick in reality. Wrap the clay around the ball but leave a triangular cut-out like a slice from a cake through which to see the red core.
Flatten out a portion of yellow clay large enough to cover the ball. The yellow clay will represent the mantle and should be slightly thicker than the outer core as it is 1,768 miles in actual size. Wrap the clay around the orange clay, leaving a triangular cut-out large enough to see at least a half-inch of the orange layer underneath.
Flatten out a portion of the blue clay large enough to cover the ball. The blue clay will represent the Earth's crust and should be very thin compared to the other layers, as can be anywhere from just one to 25 miles thick. Wrap the clay around the yellow clay, leaving a triangular cut out through which to see at least a half-inch of the yellow layer underneath.
Flatten out small portions of green clay in the shapes of continents and place them appropriately on the globe. They continents can be very thin, almost flat against the crust.
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