For the past three weeks, we have been learning about the layers of the Earth. We know that there are 4 layers (inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust) and we have spent some time exploring the characteristics of the mantle in particular. First, we had to spend some time learning key vocabulary in French and associating it with each layer. Then, we were able to move on to an experiment of how heat and cold move within the mantle. It is a layer of the Earth that has properties of both a solid and a liquid! Here are some photos showing the steps of our experiment:
We observed what happens when hot and cold water meet. First, we put our hot water on the bottom and noticed that it mixed with the cold. Then, we put our hot water on the top and noticed that it didn't mix, although it did try and we could see tiny circular movement where the two temperatures met. After some good critical thinking and discussions, we learned that this is called a convection current.
We have also spent lots of time this year exploring how we can use models to better understand scientific concepts. After observing a hard boiled egg and discussing what we noticed in groups, we analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the egg as a model of the Earth. We learned that the cracks in the outer shell represented the tectonic plates of the Earth's crust. We know that this can cause earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains.
Below is a video that we watched in class that helped us visually understand why convection currents and plate tectonics are an important factor in how the Earth's surface changes over time. We are having a lot of fun in this Science unit, and our French language skills are getting better every day so that we can better express what we understand.
We are a class of Grade 6/7 students in Surrey, BC, Canada. This blog is one way we will share our learning with the world!