Activity

# Illustrating the Layers of the Earth Through Egg Dissection

## This simple activity requiring only boiled eggs models the 3 layers of the Earth for students who are blind or visually impaired.

The Earth is divided into three layers: the crust, the mantle and the core.  The mantle and the core are further divided into an inner and outer layer.  This simple activity requiring only boiled eggs models the 3 layers of the Earth.  It is most appropriate for elementary students but can be utilized with variations (See below) for middle school students.

### Materials

• A dull knife for each student
• A boiled egg for each student
• Printed procedure and questions

### Preparation

• Boil 1 egg per student.  It is a good idea to boil an extra egg in case one breaks.

### Procedure

There are two versions of the procedure, a simpler and a more difficult version.  I have also attached these 2 versions as Word documents:

#### 1st Version:  Layers of the Earth Activity – More difficult version

In this activity, you will dissect an egg and compare the layers of the egg to the layers of the Earth.

1. Begin by peeling the shell of the egg off. This layer is analogous to the crust of the Earth. Answer the following question before continuing to dissect the egg.
• How thick is the crust of the Earth? ______________________________________
2. The next layer of the egg is the white of the egg.  It is the middle layer. It is analogous to the mantle of the Earth. You will cut through this layer until you reach the yellow portion.
• Which portion is thick liquid? ___________________________________________
• Which portion is solid? ________________________________________________
3. The only portion of the egg remaining is the layer at the center of the egg. It is analogous to the core of the Earth.
• What do scientists think the core is made of? _______________________________

#### 2nd Version:  Layers of the Earth Activity – Simpler version

In this activity, you will dissect an egg and compare the layers of the egg to the layers of the Earth.

1. Begin by peeling the shell of the egg off. Answer the following question before continuing to dissect the egg.
• What is the outer layer of the Earth called? ___________________________________
2. The next layer of the egg is the white of the egg.  It is the middle layer.  You will cut through this layer until you reach the yellow portion.
• What is the middle layer of the Earth called? __________________________________
3. The only portion of the egg remaining is the layer at the center of the egg.
• What is this center layer of the Earth called?___________________________________

### Variations

For more advanced students, both the composition and thickness of the individual layers of the Earth should be both discussed and assessed.

This should include the crust, inner and outer mantle, and inner and outer core.

Crust

• Thickness –  6 km or 4 mi thick
• Composition – Rock – Includes the continents and the ocean floor

Inner Mantle

Thickness:  2,186 km or1,366 mi thick

Composition – silicon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, and magnesium – solid rock

Outer mantle

Thickness: 499 km or 312 mi thick

Composition: silicon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, and magnesium –

Inner core

Thickness: 1192 km or 745 mi

Composition: solid nickel and iron

Outer core

Thickness:  2285 km or 1,428 mi

Composition: nickel and iron

### NGSS Standards:

5 – Earth’s Systems

ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems

• Earth’s major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth’s surface materials and processes. The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate. Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the landforms to determine patterns of weather. (5-ESS2-1)