Earth's Structure - Let's Build the Earth

The previous page helped explain that the earth is made of layers. Solid layers include the crust, mantle, and core. Above the solid crust we find the water and atmosphere.

You will learn about the structure of the earth by building a human earth.


  • Sheets of paper labeled: core, crust, water, and atmosphere
  • Large open area
  • Friends or classmates


  1. Friends or classmates will have separate sheets of paper to "act out." These are the parts to be used in the activity. Several people can "act out" the same part.
    • Core
    • Crust
    • Water
    • Atmosphere
  2. The information below explains how each part "acts" during the activity. It would be good to "practice" the part you are doing before everyone begins the activity.
  3. Each person who is "acting out" the part of the interior is to flex his or her muscles or pretend to lift weights. Each of these people is to stand in the center of the activity area. These people represent the core, which is the most dense part of Earth.
  4. Individuals who are "acting out" the crust are to form a circle around the core. This group of people is to then chant, "rock, rock, rock" in unison.
  5. People who "act out" the part of water are to surround the crust. (There may be gaps between each of these individuals.) These people are to sway their bodies back and forth to represent the movement that occurs in this less dense layer.
  6. Finally, each person who is "acting" as the atmosphere are to form a circle around at a large distance away from the water. Each of these people is to face away from the rest of the group. These people are to slowly walk around the rest of the Earth. This movement represents air currents which are present in the atmosphere.

Safety concerns: As with all science lab activities, the most important safety rule is to follow all teacher directions.


1. Did all of the people "acting out" the same part as you move at the same speed and in the same direction?

Analysis and Conclusions:

1. List some examples of how this activity represent a good model of Earth?
2. List some examples of how this activity did not represent a good model of Earth?
3. Why was motion included in the activity?

utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.