Please keep in mind this unit is made for my autistic 2nd grader
(some material is more 1st grade/Kinder level).
We read The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth book together.
This book would be a great way to learn about the different kind of rocks too. Maybe our next unit?
Another great book is Planet Earth/Inside Out by Gail Gibbons.
I found a free coloring page: The Layers of the Earth from My Mommy Style blog.
I printed and put on construction paper some 3 part cards of the different layers of the Earth. I used THIS set of free cards. I found another set of free cards HERE if you are interested.
We built models of the earth using Play Doh. I bought the medium containers of Play Doh at Walmart for $0.50 each. I spent $2.50 to get the 5 colors I needed. I used:
Red: Inner Core
Orange: Outer Core
Blue: Crust + water
You could easily make your own Jello Play Doh with THIS RECIPE. That would make the Play Doh smell like different flavors to further add a sensory experience to this. I was feeling lazy.
We built rather small models of the earth because it was difficult for my daughter to control the Play Doh in bigger sections. You could easily build larger models if your child is more skilled with Play Doh.
I printed these Toothpick Flags to label the sections of our Play Doh earth. I found a blank template using Google--Sorry whoever made this. I can't find the original link. I added the labels and left some blank for older kids who want to write it themselves. Click on the image above and print if you like.
If you are looking for additional ideas:
National Geographic has a wonderful page with information for kids.
My Mommy Style made chocolate treats to show the layers.
Another idea would be to make Rice Krispie treats of various colors and build the earth model.
Maybe a fruit plate with various fruits in circles to represent the layers?
I hope this inspires someone else to have fun with science.