In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about the globe, world, and planet Earth. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Earth topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Earth
Creative Writing Aliens
Is there life on other planets? Hold a discussion with your students and invite volunteers to share their opinions. Then have students create their own aliens. Students should write a description of their alien and describe the planet they are from. Then have students draw a picture or make a model of their alien. Students can use clay or reuse household objects to create their models. Invite students to share their aliens and display them in the classroom.
Earth in Motion
Many students have difficulties visualizing how the moon orbits the Earth and how the Earth orbits the Sun. Have small groups create models of the moon, Earth, and Sun out of balls, clay, foil, or paper. Then have the groups model the Moon’s orbit around Earth and the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. If possible, have the groups film their models using video cameras. Students can also use digital cameras to do stop-motion animations or print pictures to make flipbooks.
If possible, take a trip to an air and space museum or a natural history museum to learn about the Earth. Many museums have specialists who can talk about the Earth’s history and outer space with your students. You may wish to brainstorm questions together as a class in preparation to ask the experts.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Earth
Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
Together with your child, find ways to reduce, recycle, and reuse in your home. You can reduce pollution by walking, riding bikes, skating, or using public transportation instead of driving. Review specific items in your home that can be recycled, such as cans, milk cartons, toilet paper tubes, paper, and shampoo bottles. Encourage your child to find ways to reuse items in your home, such as bottles, bags, and jars.
Core, Mantle, and Crust
Have your child make a model of Earth using food. Remind your child that the layers should be relative sizes, so the mantle should be the largest layer. You can start with a peanut at the core (or something densely packed) and cover it with peanut butter to model the mantle. Then you can roll the peanut butter ball in chocolate chips or cookie crumbs to show the thin crust. Freeze and cut into the model to show all the different layers.