Learning Experience 9: Earth’s Dimensions



For each group of three of students:

3 Student Activity Sheets for Learning Experience 9 (Please see PDF)

6 copies of the card modeling pattern for the 10 x 10 x 10 cm cube (Please see PDF)

6 #16 rubberbands

For the class:

Hole punch

4 cereal boxes


Metric rulers


Read the background information in the Rocks, Minerals, and Landforms Teacher’s Manual. (Please see PDF) Cereal boxes are required for this learning experience. You will need students to collect four regular cereal boxes for each model that is constructed. Students should construct at least one model for each group. A model for each student would require that additional boxes be collected. Patterns are provided in the teacher’s manual that will need to be copied for the students. Patterns are the full-scale drawings provided to make cardboard templates. Panels are the result of tracing the templates on another cardboard surface, marking the locations of the connecting scoring/folding lines and the locations, for hole punching.

Basic Skills Development:

Creating Models











Objective: Students will develop models of the relationships between the surface area and volume of the Earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.

How do the earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere compare?

Session 1

Introduce the term lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere to the students. Explain that they will be building models that represent parts of the earth and then will compare various features of the models. Ask the question, “Have you ever seen a globe model of the earth”? “What information could you understand from the model”? Direct the students to carefully disassemble the cereal boxes while saving the largest cardboard panels. Six panels will be needed that measure about 13 cm x 13cm square. Students should follow the instructions on the activity sheet for Learning Experience 9 in the Rocks and Minerals and Landforms Student Activity Book.

Discussion Questions:

What new understandings did the model help you with?

How does the volume of water on the earth compare with the surface area of the water on earth?

Additional copies of the 10x10 cm grid paper found on page 47 of the Teacher’s Manual (Please see PDF) may need to be made if each panel is covered with the grid.

For the accompanying Rocks, Minerals, and Landforms Student Activity Book, please refer to the PDF found here. (Please see PDF)

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