Spheres of Earth Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

The Earth is made up of four interdependent spheres. This lesson plan uses a simple yet informative video lesson to provide an overview of these spheres. A group activity culminates in a meaningful visual of Earth's spheres.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • list the four spheres of Earth
  • explain key characteristics of the geosphere
  • summarize critical facts about the hydrosphere
  • discuss the features of the biosphere
  • analyze the primary characteristics of the atmosphere


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


  • Paper copies of the worksheet from the associated video lesson
  • Masking tape
  • Large die cuts of the following letters: 'G', 'H', 'B,' and 'A'


  • Begin by asking students to list some of the factors that make up the Earth.
    • What types of things can we see and touch on Earth?
    • What types of things might be hidden from us?
  • Play the video lesson The Four Spheres of Earth: Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Atmosphere, pausing it at 0:37.
    • What are the four spheres of Earth?
    • What can we tell about each of the spheres from their names?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 1:09.
    • What is the geosphere?
    • What types of things can be found within the geosphere?
  • Play the video lesson for the class again, pausing it at 1:55.
    • How would you describe the hydrosphere?
    • What types of things might you find in the hydrosphere?
  • Play the video lesson for the class. Pause it at 2:36.
    • What exists within the biosphere?
    • What is the range of life within the biosphere?
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class.
    • What makes up the atmosphere?
    • What occurs within the atmosphere?
  • Review key facts about the spheres of the Earth with the class before handing out the worksheet to each of the students.
  • Work together, as a class, to complete the worksheet.

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