Troposphere Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson plan, students learn the basics of the troposphere and engage in class discussions. Students then make a creative diagram to make sure the key characteristics of the troposphere stick.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the basic characteristics of the troposphere
  • Recognize the importance of the troposphere
  • Identify the gases that make up the troposphere and the effects carbon dioxide has on the troposphere


1 hour


  • diagram of atmosphere
  • arts and crafts material, including:
    • colored construction paper
    • scissors
    • markers/colored pencils
    • glue or other adhesive

Key Vocabulary

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify and define the following vocabulary terms:

  • troposphere
  • tropopause

Curriculum Standards


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.


  • Post a diagram of the atmosphere on the board.
    • If you do not have a better one handy, blow up and print out the graphic in the text part of the lesson in the 'Gasses in the Atmosphere' section.
  • Have students watch the lesson Troposphere: Definition, Facts, Temperature & Characeristics
  • Stop the video at 2:09.
  • Hold a short class discussion to ensure students understand what and where the troposphere is. Use the diagram as necessary. Some example discussion questions include:
    • Which one of the atmospheric divisions is the troposphere? How do you know?
    • What separates the troposphere from the other layers of the atmosphere?
  • Finish watching the video.
  • Have students take the quiz

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