Thursday, January 5, 2012

The One With The Atmsophere

**This post is without pictures. I can't get my iPad to cooperate and I'm tired of letting it sit in my drafts. Sorry.

We have officially started our unit on weather. This might be one of my favorite units. It really lends itself to hands on "in the field" observations. It is something the students find useful because they can largely see how weather impacts their every day life.

We always start with our atmosphere. Students learn the different layers of the atmosphere and their characteristics.

Today we did a scale model of the layers of the atmosphere using a meter stick, colored pencils, and adding machine tape. My students really enjoy this activity and as the teacher I love the visual it provides them.

All you need is adding machine tape, colored pencils, and meter sticks.

I measured and cut the adding tape ahead of time. Each person or group (I have done this with both options) needs a strip of tape that measures 3.5 meters. For me it was just easier to do this step for them.

I'm always a fan of lessons that allow my students to get out of their seat and move around. For this particular lab, my students were down in the floor measuring. They loved it! I loved it!

They are able to practice the skills of following directions and measuring which is great.

You can find this activity here. I will tell you though, my students find these directions a little confusion. I have taken some things out and simplified the directions slightly. I've done it both ways for several years and honestly find that we have less problems with my simpler version. You might be able to help me and clarify the original version.

If you would like my version shoot me an email. I would be happy to share it with you.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this activity! I will be saving it for when I start my weather unit!
    To The Square Inch

  2. Hi I would really like to try your version of this activity. My email address is

  3. I would love a copy of your atmosphere and m & m activity. my email is Thanks!

  4. Good Evening.

    I would love a copy of your atomsphere activity