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TITLE:    VISUAL MODEL OF THE PLANET EARTH

AUTHOR:   JANET DONNELLY, C.C.MENELEY ELEMENTARY,
          GARDNERVILLE, NV

GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT:   3-9;  SCIENCE, SOCIAL
                        STUDIES/GEOGRAPHY

OVERVIEW:
USING A NECTARINE TO REPRESENT OUR PLANET EARTH, THIS
VISUAL DEMONSTRATION CAN GIVE THE STUDENTS A CLEARER
UNDERSTANDING OF THE RATIO AND PROPORTION OF THE
EARTH'S CRUST, CORE, AND USABLE LAND SURFACE.

PURPOSE-  A SIMULATION IS THE BEST WAY TO APPROXIMATE
AN ACTUAL EXPERIENCE.  WHEN AN EVENT IS FUN AND
INTERESTING THE MATERIAL IS USUALLY RETAINED LONGER.
THIS LESSON PROVIDES A CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF THE LIMITED
SIZE OF THE LAND SURFACE WE SHARE WITH THE EARTH'S
OTHER INHABITANTS AND A VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE
EARTH'S INNER SECTIONS.

OBJECTIVE:
THE LEARNER WILL BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE CRUST, MANTLE,
AND CORE OF THE EARTH AND BE ABLE TO GIVE AN
APPROXIMATE RATIO AND PROPORTION OF USABLE LAND
SURFACE.

RESOURCES/MATERIALS:
PARING KNIFE, NECTARINE, A NAPKIN

NECTARINES ARE ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE SUMMER AND FALL.
IF YOU CANNOT OBTAIN THEM, AN APPLE CAN BE A SUITABLE
SUBSTITUTE... THOUGH THE PROPORTIONS ARE NOT AS
COMPARABLE.   YOU CAN USE ONE NECTARINE PER PERSON, PER
GROUP OF FOUR, ETC.  I HAVE ALSO GIVEN THIS LESSON AS A
TEACHER DEMONSTRATION.  THIS WOULD BE ADVISABLE WITH
YOUNGER STUDENTS IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT USING
KNIVES IN THE CLASSROOM.

ACTIVITIES:
1    CUT THE NECTARINE IN HALF.  EXPLAIN THAT THE RATIO
     AND PROPORTION OF THIS NECTARINE IS SIMILAR TO THE
     EARTH.  THE SKIN IS APPROXIMATELY THE THICKNESS OF
     THE EARTH'S CRUST.  THE FLESH OF THE NECTARINE IS
     SIMILAR TO THE MANTLE OF THE EARTH.  MANTLE IS
     MOLTEN ROCK AND MATERIAL.  WHEN THERE IS A BREAK
     IN THE EARTH'S SKIN, THE MANTLE CAN POP UP... AS
     IN A VOLCANO.
2    AT THE CENTER OF THE NECTARINE IS A LARGE PIT AND
     INSIDE THE PIT IS A SEED.  THIS CAN REPRESENT THE
     INNER AND OUTER CORE OF THE EARTH.  THE PIT IS
     SIMILAR TO THE OUTER CORE MADE UP OF LIQUID NICKLE
     AND IRON.  THUS IT IS VERY HEAVY AND CREATES OUR
     GRAVITY.  THE INSIDE (THE SEED) IS MADE UP OF
     SOLID NICKLE AND IRON.  THE TREMENDOUS PRESSURE
     MAKES IT SOLID.
3    NOW FOR THE SURFACE... BECAUSE THE OCEAN COVERS
     3/4 OF THE LAND'S SURFACE, CUT AWAY HALF OF THE
     HALF YOU'RE HOLDING.  (3/4 IS TAKEN AWAY, 1/4 IS
     IN YOUR HAND.)  THIS REPRESENTS THE TOTAL LAND OF
     THE EARTH.
4    SINCE 1/3 OF THE LAND IS COVERED BY MOUNTAIN
     RANGES AND IS TOO COLD AND UNSUITABLE TO LIVE
     UPON, CUT AWAY ANOTHER 1/3 OF THE PIECE YOU'RE
     HOLDING.
5    YET ANOTHER 1/3 OF THE LAND SURFACE IS DESERT
     TERRAIN AND TOO HOT FOR US TO LIVE UPON.  CUT AWAY
     ANOTHER 1/3 OF THE PIECE YOU'RE HOLDING.
6    THE TINY SLIVER OF LAND THAT YOU STILL HAVE IS ALL
     THE USABLE LAND SURFACE THAT MUST SUPPORT ALL THE
     PEOPLE AND ANIMALS ALIVE TODAY!  LET'S USE THIS
     VALUABLE EARTH CAREFULLY AS IT'S THE ONLY HOME WE
     HAVE.

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
1    THIS COULD BE AN INTRODUCTION TO A UNIT ON OUR
     ENVIRONMENT, RECYCLING, POLLUTION CONTROL, ETC.
2    STUDENTS COULD COLOR IN A PICTURE OF A CUT-AWAY
     MODEL OF THE EARTH AND LABEL EACH OF THE PARTS,
     SUCH AS CORE, MANTLE, ETC.
3    THE STUDENTS COULD COVER A GLOBE WITH POST IT
     NOTES AND THEN GRAPH IT WITH SECTIONS FOR OCEAN,
     MOUNTAINS, DESERTS, TROPICAL FORESTS, ETC.
4    THE CLASS COULD FOLLOW THE LESSON WITH CREATIVE
     JOURNAL ENTRIES ON HOW IT MADE THEM FEEL TO
     REALIZE THE TINY SIZE OF USABLE LAND SPACE ON
     EARTH.
5    PAPER MACHE GLOBES COULD BE MADE OVER SMALL
     BALLOONS.  PRICK THE BALLOON WHEN THE GLOBE IS
     DRY, AND PAINT THE SURFACE.


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John Kurilecjmk@ofcn.org