Planet Earth Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jeremy Cook

I have been teaching elementary school for 16 years. I have extensive experience in lesson and curriculum development and educational technology.

We live on an amazing planet. The Earth spins through the solar system in the just the right place to contain life. But I'll bet there are lots of things you didn't know about the blue planet. This lesson will teach you all about our home: the Earth.

Earth Basics

Earth is the third planet from the sun and the fifth largest planet in the solar system. It is a terrestrial planet, which means it has a hard surface made up of rocks and metals. Earth is the largest terrestrial planet, ahead of Venus, Mars and Mercury.

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are the four terrestrial planets
Inner Planets

Unlike the other planets, the Earth wasn't named after a god. The name Earth came from the Old English word, 'Ertha,' which means 'ground' or 'soil.' Amazingly, even though the Earth is basically named after ground or soil, more than 70 percent of the planet is covered in water. Maybe we should have called it Aqua! Most life on Earth lives in the water. Did you know that the most diverse population on Earth can be found in the coral reef systems of the ocean?

The Earth has a very strong magnetic field, which helps keep the atmosphere around the planet in place. It takes the Earth about 365 days, or a year, to orbit the sun and 24 hours to rotate on its axis, making a day. The Earth also has four distinct seasons based on where it is on its revolution around the sun. The Earth has one orbiting spatial body that we call the Moon. It's rocky, small and revolves around the Earth about every month.

Earth Is Very Different

Earth has just the right combination of water, atmosphere and climate to support life as we know it. There is also a layer in the atmosphere called the ozone layer, which protects the planet from the radiation and heat of the sun.

So, what does Earth have that allows for life that the other planets don't have? Well, there is a combination of a few things. First, Earth has a lot of water, and water is essential for life. Animals and plants need water, and Earth has enough for both. Since there is so much water on Earth, it is often called the Blue Planet.

The Earth is called the Blue Planet because of how much of the surface is covered with water
Earth from Space

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