What’s Below the Earth’s Surface?

What’s Below the Earth’s Surface? lesson plan

Is your knowledge about the Earth’s layers rock solid? Create a down-to-Earth 3-D display with Crayola Markers.

  • 1.

    People have only journeyed 1/500 of the way to the center of the Earth. That’s about 13 km (8 miles) down, where it’s really hot. Geologists have discovered a lot about the layers that lie below the surface. What can you find out? Here’s one way to show what you’re learning about geology.

  • 2.

    With an adult, locate a good-sized rock that could represent a slice of Earth. Wash and dry the rock. (If rocks are not available, cover an armature of crumpled newspaper with Crayola Model Magic® to make a replica. Air-dry the sculpture.)

  • 3.

    Write on the rock with Crayola Markers to divide it into three main layers: crust, mantle, and core. Color code each one. Then mark each sub-layer. Illustrate unique characteristics, such as the amount of heat or geologic activity found within that layer.

  • 4.

    With Crayola Scissors, cut small triangles from recycled file folders for labels. Write the name of each layer. Outline each triangle with the color(s) used in your key.

  • 5.

    Roll a small ball of Model Magic for each label. Flatten the ball on the rock. Stick a label point into the ball. Secure the ball on the rock with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry your rock-solid project.


  • Students identify the geological layers of the Earth.
  • Students graphically depict each layer’s characteristics.
  • Students label and develop a color key for their exhibit.


  • Plot the rock cycle of the Earth’s crust from igneous to sedimentary to metamorphic rock. Illustrate this process graphically.
  • Depict soil layers of the Earth’s crust, such as topsoil, subsoil, and more rocky levels including bedrock. Figure out ways to represent various ingredients such as fossil fuels.
  • As a class, try recreating the Earth’s makeup. Two people circle one person in the center as the inner core. Add three people to be the outer core, six as deep mantle, eight the asthenophere, and 12 the lithosphere (adjust numbers depending on class size). Research how each circle could act to represent its characteristics. You could shuffle like plates or call out "hot stuff!"
  • Assessment: Check for accuracy and creativity in depicting characteristics of each layer.