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CKSci Grade 5 Unit 3 Modeling Earth's Systems

CKSci Grade 5 Unit 3 Modeling Earth's Systems


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About This Lesson

This unit allows students to investigate a model to comprehend the complexity of the many parts of the Earth. Students learn about and explore the four “spheres” that comprise all the physical and biological factors of Earth. After defining each sphere, the unit then addresses the interactions of these spheres. In this way, students have a model that simplifies the planet we live on.

These are the four spheres that make up the model of our Earth:

  • The hydrosphere is all the water below, on, and above Earth’s surface.
  • The geosphere is all the rocks, minerals, and associated physical aspects of Earth’s structure.
  • The atmosphere is the air above us, including all its gases, wind, weather, and zones.
  • The biosphere is all the living things on Earth.

Once the model of these spheres is developed, students see how each sphere interacts with the other. Understanding the Earth means to understand these interacting spheres in a way that can bring clarity to a complex natural world. In addition, students study the engineering design that is the basis of our possible habitation of other planets.

Number of Lessons: 12

Instruction Time:

  • Each Lesson is designed to be completed in one 30–45-minute class period. Some lessons may take more than one class period.
  • Some single-day activities and performance tasks might require setting aside a longer block of time.
  • This Unit should be completed in 18 classroom days.
  • A Pacing Guide is provided within the Teacher Guide.
  • A complete list of Materials needed to complete the unit is provided in Online Resources


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