Interactions of Earth's Spheres Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has a master's degree in cancer biology and has taught high school and college biology.

The four spheres of Earth continuously depend on each other. Your students will learn about these interactions as they watch a video, illustrate examples of interactions and complete a worksheet.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere
  • identify examples of interactions between Earth's four spheres
  • explain how each sphere is dependent on the others to remain intact


1.5 - 2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
  • HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.



  • Begin the lesson by asking your students to tell you the different ways that we divide up the earth. (Allow several students to answer.)
  • If a student gives the four spheres as an answer, then begin to focus on it. If no one gave that answer, then tell your students that we view the Earth as four different spheres.
  • Let your students know that they are going to learn more about these spheres and how they interact with one another as they watch the Interactions of Earth's Spheres: Purpose and Examples video.
  • Start the video from the beginning and pause it for the first time at 1:10 to ask and discuss the following:
    • What are Earth's four spheres?
    • What is the atmosphere?
    • What is the geosphere?
    • What is the hydrosphere?
    • What is the biosphere?
    • What affect do interactions of the spheres have on Earth's materials?
  • Continue playing the video for your students and pause it again at 4:01 to ask and discuss the following:
    • How are volcanoes an example of interactions between Earth's spheres?
    • Which of Earth's sphere is groundwater a part of?
    • How does the biosphere contribute to the recycling of material through Earth's different spheres?
  • Play the remainder of the video for your students and answer any questions they have at this point.

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