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Matching by Density

Time Frame:
1 class period that runs 60 minutes.

Group Size:
Small Groups


The student will calculate the density of a given object and place it in the right layer of the Earth by matching its density to a known quantity.

Main Curriculum Tie:
SEEd - Grade 7 (2017)
Strand 7.2: Changes to Earth over time 7.2.4

Develop and use a scale model of the matter in Earth’s interior to demonstrate how differences in density and chemical composition (silicon, oxygen, iron, and magnesium) cause the formation of the crust, mantle, and core.


  • substances to measure such as rocks, including high a low density rocks
  • water
  • lightweight materials such as Styrofoam or a balloon to model air (roughly)
  • tools to calculate mass and volume
  • student sheet


Instructional Procedures:

  1. The student will be given a small object and the materials needed to calculate its density. After finding the mass and volume, the student will calculate density using d=m/v.
  2. Once the density is known the student will use that data and the Earth density chart to determine which layer of the Earth has the closest density to the object.
  3. Have students put the density they calculated for each substance on the board and make sure that they are reasonably accurate.

Assessment Plan:
Scoring – There are 4 parts to be evaluated.

First – did the student find the right mass?
Second – did the student find the correct volume?
Third – did the student calculated density correctly?
Fourth – did the student correctly interpret the chart and choose the correct layer of the Earth?

Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Utah LessonPlans

Created Date :
Oct 01 2014 13:53 PM