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WESTERN CAPE PRIMARY SCIENCE PROGRAMME

A SHORT LEARNING PROGRAMME ON THE NATURAL


SCIENCES THEME:

EARTH AND BEYOND


Grade 7

ACTIVITIES
1. What shape is
our Earth?
2. Where on
Earth is the
land, the water
and the air?
3. Finding out
about the
Earth’s
atmosphere
4. Our Earth is a
planet
5. There are nine
planets around
the sun
6. The inside of
the Earth
7. Finding out
more about our
home planet
(a) We have
volcanoes in
our planet
(b) We need
minerals
from the
Earth’s
crust
in our lives

We welcome the wide use of these materials. Please acknowledge the PSP. © PSP 2001
DEVELOPED BY WESTERN CAPE PSP TEAM AND TEACHERS

This learning programme will work towards the following learning


outcomes in the Natural Sciences

s LO1: Scientific Investigations


The learner will be able to act confidently on curiosity about natural phenomena,
and to investigate relationships and solve problems in scientific, technological and
environmental contexts

s LO2: Constructing Science Knowledge


The learner will know and be able to interpret and apply scientific, technological and
environmental knowledge

s LO3: Science, Society and the Environment


The learner will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationships between
science and technology, society and the environment.

All images of the planets


courtesy of NASA.
Our thanks to the South
African Astronomical
Society for
the information about
the planets.

Course presented by Rose Thomas and Sandra Mahote

Booklet designed by Welma Odendaal and illustrated by Janet Ranson


and Nicci Cairns
Western Cape Primary Science Programme
Edith Stephens Wetland Park
Lansdowne Road
Philippi 7785
PO Box 529
Howard Place
7450
Tel: 021 691-9039 Fax: 021 691-6350
e-mail: info@psp.org.za
website: www.psp.org.za
Contents
• This booklet illustrates an example of a short learning programme for Grade 7.
• It develops concepts, skills, attitudes and language in a step-wise fashion.
• It includes activities and tasks for learners, teacher tasks, support materials and
assessment suggestions.

1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 1 What shape is our Earth?


2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 2 Where on Earth is the land, the water and the air?
3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 3 A. Finding out about the Earth’s atmosphere
6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B. The layers of the atmosphere
8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .C. Our air is precious but we pollute it
11 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 4 Our Earth is a planet
13 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 5 There are nine planets around the sun
15 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 6 The inside of the Earth
15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A. The inside of the Earth is made up of layers
16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B. A play dough model of the inside of the Earth
17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .C. How big is our Earth?
20 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 7 Finding out more about our home planet
20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A. We have volcanoes in our planet
25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B. We need minerals from the Earth’s crust in our
lives
26 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Suggested work scheme for this learning programme
Assessment and Recording Suggestions
27 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Assessment sheet for assessing a task
28 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Recording sheet for task assessment
29–30 . . . . . . . . . .Blank Assessment sheets
31 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Codes for Assessment
Support materials and task cards to photocopy
32 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 2 Map of the world
34 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 3 Readings about the Earth’s atmosphere
35 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Graph paper
36 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A. Air and living creatures
37 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B. Layers of the atmosphere
38 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .C. What pollutes the air?
39 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 4 Reading about planet Earth and the sun
40-43 . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 5 Set of “Nine Planets”
44 . . . . . . . . . . . . .The solar system chart
46 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Planet fact sheet
47 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Task card “The Solar System”
48 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 6 Cut-away section drawing to show the inside
structure of the Earth
48 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Reading about the Earth’s inside structure
49 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Play dough recipe
50 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Task card “Inside the Earth”
51 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Task card “How big is our Earth?”
52 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Activity 7 Reading about the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption
57 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Readings about other volcanoes
58 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Diagram of a volcano
59 . . . . . . . . . . . . .A. Task card “Comparing a demonstration of a volcano and a
real volcano”
60 . . . . . . . . . . . . .B. Task card “So many things come from the Earth’s crust”
62–63 . . . . . . . . . .Task card: What does ‘ling of kwaito’ Arthur Mofekate need?
64 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mineral fact sheet

Cover . . . . . . . . . .Mind map of Earth and Beyond


Activity 1 What shape is our Earth?
• The Earth is round like a ball
Key concepts

Give learners a box with different shapes


Teacher task

Learner task Choose a shape which best resembles the shape of the Earth from the
items in the box and explain why you decided to choose that shape.

Teacher task 1. Find pictures in newspapers or old magazines to show evidence that
the Earth is round.
2. Supply learners with newspaper, scrap sheets of white A4 paper, flour
and water to make a model of the Earth.

Learner task Make a paper model of the Earth by following the steps below:
1. Crumple 10 sheets of newspaper together to make a ball shape.
2. Tear two or three sheets of white A4 paper into thin strips.
3. Make a glue paste out of flour and water.
4. Spread the glue onto the strips of white paper with your fingers.
5. Bandage the strips around the ball of newspaper until the ball is
completely covered.
6. Put your Earth paper model in the sun to dry.

1
Activity 2 Where on Earth is the land, the water
and the air ?
Key concepts • The Earth has land, water and air
• More than two thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered by water,
and nearly all of that water is in oceans
• There is a very thin layer of atmosphere covering our Earth

Teacher task Give each group of learners a map of the world to cut out continents and
a piece of pantihose to show how thin the Earth’s atmosphere is.

1. Draw the equator onto your Earth paper model and make a mark to
Learner task show where the North pole
and the South pole are.
Look! Yes! It is
2. Cut out continents from the
I’ve used up because most of
map of the world.
my blue the Earth is
3. Paste them onto your Earth paper
crayon! covered in water.
model. Use an atlas to help you put
the continents more or less onto their
correct positions.
4. Colour the land brown and colour
the water blue.
Pantihose covering
the model of the 5. Put on the air by stretching the
Earth pantihose over your Earth paper model.

Teacher task 1. Facilitate a discussion and make sure that


the learners understand the following:
A that most of our Earth is covered by water (nearly 70% of the
Earth’s surface), and
A the atmosphere that covers the Earth is a very thin layer.
2. Use the following questions to help the discussion:
A of which colour is there most on your model?
A what does this tell you?
A s se ss m en t
Activity 2 Where on Earth is the land water and the air?

What we want to assess What we expect from learners


Making the paper model a The model should be spherical
of the Earth a The equator should be drawn more or less in the correct position
i.e. the model should have almost 2 equal halves to represent the
Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere
a Position of the North pole and the South pole should be clearly
marked on the model
a Land masses should be placed in more or less the correct position
a Land should be coloured brown, the sea blue and the pantihose
should be stretched over the model to represent the thin
atmosphere

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Finding out about the Earth’s
atmosphere
Activity 3

• There is a very thin layer of gases around the Earth called the
Key concepts atmosphere
• The atmosphere is a mixture of gases (mainly Nitrogen, Oxygen
and Carbon dioxide)
• These gases occur in certain proportions:
Nitrogen 78%
Oxygen 20%
Carbon dioxide less than 1%
Other gases 1%
• Air is essential for life

A. The Earth’s atmosphere


1. Explain the following to the learners:
A Around the Earth there is a very thin layer of gases called the
atmosphere.
A The atmosphere is a mixture of gases that occur in certain
proportions.
2. Also explain the pie chart below that shows what proportion of each
gas there is in the air.
3. Supply the learners with the reading about “The Earth’s atmosphere is
all a mixture of gases” (see page 34).
these gases The Earth’s atmosphere is a mixture of gases

are mixed The air we breathe is a mixture of gases that surround the Earth in layers.
Air keeps the Earth’s surface at just the right temperature to support life.
together These layers of air and other gases are also called the Earth’s
atmosphere.

20% oxygen

1% argon and
other rare gases

less than 1%
carbon dioxide
that’s
what we 78% nitrogen
breathe!

3
The air we breathe also contains the following:
A Water vapour
A Fumes called hydrocarbons, which come from car exhausts,
factories and fires
A Dust particles
A Other gases, in very small amounts, for example, ozone, argon,
neon, helium and krypton.

Read the information about the Earth’s atmosphere and complete the
Learner task
tasks below:
1. Draw a bar graph to show how much of each gas is in the air.
ee
I can’t s or A GRAPH TO SHOW THE GASES THAT CONSTITUTE AIR
gen
any Oxy … 80%

Nitrogen 70%

60%

50%
Gases in percentages

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%
Nitrogen Oxygen Carbon Others
dioxide
Gases that constitute air

2. Which gas makes up most of the air?

Teacher task Air and living creatures and plants


Supply the learners with the reading “Air and living creatures
and plants” (see page 36).
• We cannot see or taste air
NOTE TO TEACHE
RS • We can detect changes in air temperature
stand on our skins.
Make sure learners under
xide to We can feel the air moving around us.
that plants use carbon dio
t of
make their own food as par • We can hear air moving as wind.
the sis .
the process of photosyn Without air there would be no life on Earth. People can survive for
they giv e off oxy gen
This is when about a month without food, and a few days without water
o the atmospher e. Ho we ver,
int but we cannot survive without air for more than a
gen
plants also ‘breathe’ in oxy
own few minutes.
to release energy for their
. All living things need air. All animals as
growth and development
well as plants ‘breathe’ and use oxygen
and give off carbon dioxide to stay alive.

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Why do we breathe air?
When we breathe in, air goes into our lungs. off carbon dioxide in order to produce the
The oxygen in the air goes into the blood energy for them to grow and develop.
vessels surrounding our lungs. The oxygen is However, plants also use carbon dioxide
carried by the blood to every cell in our from the air to make food. Plants take carbon
bodies. Here the oxygen is used to break dioxide from the air and water from the soil
down the food in the cells, and release the and energy from the sunlight to make food.
energy stored in food. This process is called photosynthesis.
We need the energy to move, think, Photosynthesis means ‘making with light’.
breathe, work and play. After the energy has The food that plants make is called starch.
been released, carbon dioxide gas is given off When we eat foods containing starch such as
and carried by the blood back to the lungs. mealie-pap or potatoes, this starch was made
The carbon dioxide is released into the lungs by the mealie plant and the potato plant.
where it mixes with air and is breathed out. During photosynthesis plants give out oxygen
All animals and plants use oxygen and give into the air.

Learner task Read about air and the living things and discuss the following questions
in your groups.
1. Why is oxygen important for all living things?
2. How is oxygen carried to every cell in our bodies?
3. What do plants use carbon dioxide for?
4. Where do plants get carbon dioxide from?

A s se ss m en t
Activity 3 A. The Earth’s atmosphere
What we want to assess What we expect from learners

A bar graph to represent 1. The graph must have:


the air as a mixture of gases a a suitable heading
a axes correctly labelled
a a suitable scale
a the bars shaded
a the points accurately plotted
2. The graph must be plotted with the correct amounts
of gas present in the air.
3. Nitrogen is the gas that makes up most of our air.
The question about air and Correct answers to the questions:
living things a) Oxygen breaks down the food in the cells of our bodies and
the energy that all living things need is released.
b) The blood from our lungs carries oxygen to every cell in our
bodies.
c) Carbon dioxide is given off into the air when plants and
animals breathe.
d) Plants use carbon dioxide for making their own food.

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B. The layers of the atmosphere
Key concepts • The atmosphere extends to about 80km above the Earth’s surface
• The atmosphere is made up of layers
• All the air that we need for breathing occurs in only the first 10km
of air above the surface
• The atmosphere protects the Earth’s surface from dangerous sun
radiation and from dust and rocks in space

Teacher task
1. Supply the learners with a drawing showing the layers of the Earth’s
atmosphere and the questions about each layer. (See page 37 to
photocopy for learners.)
2. Allow the learners to discuss the questions in their groups.
3. Make sure that the following points come out in the discussion:
A The atmosphere extends to about 80km above the Earth’s surface
A The atmosphere is made up of layers.
A All the air that we need for breathing occurs in only the first 10km
of air above the surface.
A The atmosphere protects the Earth’s surface from dangerous sun
radiation and from dust and rocks in space.
THE LAYERS OF THE ATMOSPHERE
IONOSPHERE
This layer absorbs dangerous rays from the sun.
Radio waves coming fr om Earth reach this layer
and are bounced back to a different part of the
Earth where they are picked up by peoples’ TVs and
radios. This is how radio programmes are transmitted
around the world.
MESOSPHERE
This layer is very cold (–100°C). It protects the
Earth from rocks (meteors) and dust that fly into
the atmosphere from space.

STRATOSPHERE
This layer is like a shield. It protects the Earth
and living things from the sun’s dangerous rays.

TROPOSPHERE
This layer has all the air that we need for breathing.
All animals and plants live in this layer. This layer has water
vapour and clouds and this is where we find different kinds of
weather. The gases making up the Earth’s atmosphere become
less and less the further you go away from the Earth until there
is no atmosphere at all in space.

SEA LEVEL
Half of the atmosphere is below here

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Learner task 1. Look at the drawing of the Earth’s atmosphere.
2. In your groups discuss the questions about each layer.
(a) In what layer of the Earth’s atmosphere are plants and animals able
to survive? Give a reason for your answer.
(b) Mountain climbers use oxygen when they climb to the top of
Mount Everest. Why do you think they must carry extra oxygen?
(c) What does the stratosphere do?
(d) Can a person survive in the Mesosphere? Give a reason for your
answer.
(e) What would happen if the Earth had no atmosphere?

where do in the
you live? troposphere,
of course!

A s se ss m en t
Activity 3 B. The layers of the atmosphere

What we want to assess What we expect from learners

Questions about the layers Correct answers to the questions about the layers of the
of the atmosphere atmosphere i.e.
(a) Plants and animals live in the Troposphere. This is because
the air that they need to breathe is in the Troposphere. Also in
the Troposphere they are protected from dangerous sun’s
rays and rocks and dust from space.
(b) They must carry extra oxygen because as you go further away
from the Earth’s surface, the amount of air becomes less. So
there will not be enough oxygen.
(c) It protects the Earth and living things from the dangerous rays
of the sun
(d) People cannot survive in the Mesosphere because it is too
cold there and people are not protected from space dust and
rocks. They are also not protected from the sun’s dangerous
rays.
(e) There would be no life on Earth. This is because there would
be no oxygen for the animals and plants to get energy. There
would be no carbon dioxide for the plants to make food.
There would be no protection from the sun’s dangerous rays
and no protection from space rocks and dust.

7
C. Our air is precious but we pollute it
Key concepts • The same air is used over and over again in the atmosphere
• Many activities carried out by people pollute the atmosphere
• Pollution of the air is dangerous to living things

Teacher task 1. Lead a class discussion about how air is polluted. Use the picture that
shows what pollutes our air to help the discussion (See page 38.)
2. In order to make sure that the learners understand that the same air
that we pollute gets used over and over again, ask questions like:
“Where does this polluted air end up?” (The direction of the arrows in
the picture shows that the same air is used over and over again).
3. Supply the learners with the reading “The air is precious”. (See page
38.)
The air is precious
The Earth’s air is the only air that we have. It is the same air that our
ancestors breathed. It is the same air that the dinosaurs once
breathed.
We breathe the same air that our dogs and cats breathe. The air we
breathe is the same air that has passed through our motor car engines
and factory chimneys and the plants outside.
The same air is used over and over again because it is the only air
that we have. We can’t get any more air from anywhere else.
When we make the air dirty from engines and factories, we call this
air pollution.

WHAT POLLUTES OUR AIR?


This picture shows all the different
things that pollute the air. The
polluted air is used again and again.

8
Air pollution ugh! why do we have
We say that the air is polluted when it becomes dirty.
Substances that make the air dirty are produced in many different
to breathe your
ways: smelly fumes?
A When we burn fossil fuels (coal and oil) in power stations to
make electricity
A When we make things that require burning and
heating in factories
A When we drive motor cars which always give
off fumes
A When we burn rubbish and motor car tyres
A When we burn grass, bushveld and trees
Strong sunlight interacts with the exhaust fumes from motor vehicles and
this can produce poisonous gases. Sometimes we can see and smell
these gases. They have a brownish colour and we call this smog. Smog is
dangerous to plants and animals.

Learner task 1. Participate in a class discussion about things that pollute the air.
2. Read about “Air is precious” and “Air pollution” and answer the
questions that follow:
(a) What are some of the things that pollute the air?
The things that pollute air are: smoke from power stations, fumes
from car exhausts, smoke from burning and smoke from factories.
(b) Write to explain why some people are concerned that air is
becoming polluted.
Air pollution
People are concerned about polluting the air.
The reason why people worry is that this is the only air we
whew! have on Earth.
this pollution
is really bad Another reason is that we use the same air
for me! over and over again, but if we make it dirty
then we will only have dirty air to use.
Another reason is that dirty air is dangerous
to living things.
(c) Write a praise poem about air. For example:
My precious air
Without you I have no life
My parents my, my friends, my cat and everybody.
One single breath and my whole body is alive!
Trees big and small,
Beautiful flowers with insects around depend on you!
Without you we all have no life.
Thank you for being around for us

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A s se ss m en t
Activity 3 C. Our precious air that we pollute
What we want to assess What we expect from learners

Writing a paragraph to explain The paragraph must:


why people are concerned a have a heading
about air pollution a have sentences that explain why
people are concerned about air
pollution
a have sentences that make sense
a contain key words about pollution
e.g. burn, fumes, smog, factories
etc.

10
Activity 4 Our Earth is a planet
• The Earth moves in space and it is a planet
Key concepts • The Earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun in its
own orbit
• It is the only planet that has life as far as we know
• The Earth gets its heat and light from the sun
• The sun is a star and not a planet

Teacher task 1. Below is a picture of the Earth.

polar ice cap

Asia

continent of Africa

clouds
Great Lakes
Atlantic Ocean

South America

Island of Madagascar
clouds

2. Find any other picture of Earth that shows its physical features.
3. Show learners the pictures and ask the following questions to
stimulate their curiosity about our Earth.

Earth – Our Home Planet


A What continents can you see?
A Can you see any rivers and islands?
A What are the white marks? Do you think they are fog, ocean currents,
clouds or waves?
A Can you see both polar ice caps?
3. Give learners a reading about planet Earth and the sun. (See “The
Earth is a planet” and “The sun is a star” page 39.)

11
Learner task 1. Complete the following table to compare our Earth and the sun.

Questions EARTH SUN

1. Is it a planet or a star? planet star


2. What is it made of? rock very hot gases
3. Does it give out light and heat? no yes
4. Which is bigger, the Earth or the sun? small big
5. Can life survive on it? yes no
Yes, the sun is much,
much bigger. The sun just
Earth
looks smaller
is a planet. SUN
because it is
The sun is = STAR
very far away!
a star.

2. Write sentences to compare the differences between planet Earth and


the sun. (Use the table to help you), e.g.
1. The Earth is different from the sun because it is a planet
whereas the sun is a star.
2. Earth is made up of rock whereas the sun is made up of
very hot gases.
3. The sun gives off light and heat whereas the planet Earth
Earth is a gets its heat and light from the sun.
wonderful 4. The sun is bigger than the Earth.
place to live
on! 5. Planet Earth has living things such as plants and animals
whereas living things can never survive on the sun.

live!
That’s where I

It’s the K hum


alo
.
ONLY place To: N 52
Y
23 N letu
to live! g u
Gu Town
e
Ca e ern Cap
p
e s t a
W ric
h Af em
Sout a r Syst
c a o l
12 Afri , The S
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Eart
Activity 5 There are nine planets around the sun
• There are nine planets that revolve around the sun
Key concepts • Each planet revolves around the sun in its own orbit
• The sun and all the planets that move around it form the solar
system
• Each planet moves at its own distance from the sun
• Each planet can be recognised by its appearance

Teacher task 1. Explain to the learners that there are nine planets altogether that
revolve around the sun.
2. Give each group of learners a set of the “Nine Planets” (page 40–43).

Learner task 1. Read about the different planets and answer the following questions:
(a) Which planet has rings?
(b) Name the planet that has a red spot.
(c) What do scientists think of this red spot?
(d) Which planet is the windiest?
(e) Which planet has craters like the moon?
2. Write each planet’s name and its distance from the sun at the back of
each planet picture.
3. Cut out the planets.
4. Start with the sun and place the planets in their correct position,
starting with the closest planet to the sun.
5. Display these on the wall of your classroom.

13
Teacher Input:
Explain to the learners that the sun with its family of planets that move around
it is called the solar system.
Give learners the task card about the solar system and the planet fact sheet
(pages 44–46).

Pluto

Venus
Mercury SUN
Saturn Jupiter
Earth Mars
Neptune
Uranus

Learner task Learner Task Card – The Solar System


Use the planet fact sheet and answer the questions that follow:
1. Label all the planets’ names on the drawing of the sun and its family of
planets (solar system).
2. Complete the following
A The hottest planet is Venus.
A The coldest planet is Pluto.
A The biggest planet is Jupiter.
Learner task A The smallest planet is Pluto.
A The planet which is closest to the sun is Mercury.
A The planet furthest from the sun is Pluto.
A The planet which takes 365 ¢ days to travel around the sun is Earth.
A The planet which takes longest to travel around the sun is Pluto.
3. Now use the information about the distances from the sun to calculate:
(a) How far away are we from Mercury? 90 000 000 km
(b) how far away are we from Pluto? 5 750 000 000 km
(c) how far away is our planet from Mars? 80 000 000

A s se s sm en t
Activity 5 There are nine planets around the sun
What we want to assess What we expect from learners

The solar system (row of a The planets should be placed in their correct order according
planets) to their distances from the sun; i.e. Mercury, Venus, Earth,
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
a Planets’ names should be labeled
The solar system a The planets should be labeled with their correct names on
(diagram + questions) the diagram
a Correct interpretation of the planet fact sheet tables,
i.e. correct answers to questions 2
a Correct answers for question 3:
(a) 90 000 000 km
(b) 5 750 000 000 km
(c) 80 000 000 km

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Activity 6 The inside of the Earth

A. The inside of the Earth is made up


of layers
• Scientists think that the inside of the Earth is made up of four
Key concept concentric layers (layers arranged around a common centre)

Teacher task 1. Use the paper model of the Earth made by the learners to remind them
about the outside appearance of the Earth.
2. Now find out from the learners what they think the inside of the Earth
looks like.
3. Supply each learner with one ‘Astro’ sweet so that learners can begin
to imagine what the inside of the Earth is like.

Learner task 1. Suck an ‘astro’ sweet and find out the following as
you suck it:
A How does each layer feel?
A How many layers does it have?
2. Make a drawing to represent the layers of the
‘Astro’ sweet.
how outside sugar coating
many inside chocolate
crunchy inside
layers?

Teacher task
crust
1. Explain the following to the learners:
A Scientists think that the Earth has
different layers like the ‘astro’ sweet.
A Like the astro, these layers are
arranged on top of each other and
around a common centre (concentric)
2. Show learners a drawing that shows the
inside of the Earth and inform them that a
section has been cut out so that we can
see what the Earth looks like inside.

15
B. A play dough model to show the inside of
the Earth
• The layers differ in thickness and in composition
• The inner core at the very centre of the Earth is the hottest and is
solid
• The outer core which surrounds the inner core is thought to be
molten rock
• The mantle which covers the outer core is thought to be plastic
(partially melted rock – not completely solid)
• The crust which is the outer layer is very thin and solid

Teacher task Give learners the following:


1. A reading about ‘Inside the Earth’ (see page 48).
2. A task card to complete (see page 50).
3. Play dough to make a model of the Earth.

Learner task 1. Read about the inside of the Earth.


2. Complete the task card about the inside of the Earth.

Learner Task Card – Inside the Earth


1. Read about the different layers inside the Earth and complete the table
below.

Name of Earth’s layer INNER CORE OUTER CORE MANTLE CRUST


Thickness in km. (approx.) 1300 km 2250 km 2900 km 8–40 km
Position where found at the centre of around the above the outer most
the Earth inner core outer core layer

2. Use play dough to make the model of the Earth.


Use the following colours:
red play dough to represent the hot inner core
orange play dough to represent the outer core
yellow play dough to represent the mantle
look at that! white play dough to represent the Earth’s crust
3. Cut the model in half with cotton so that you can see inside.
4. Then cut it into quarters.
5. Hold three quarters together.
6. Draw this cut-away section of
your model and label the
different layers inside Earth.

16
C. How big is Earth?
Teacher task 1. Refer to the drawing of the cut-away section of the Earth’s inside
structure (See page ) and explain the following:
A The radius is the distance from the centre to the edge
A The circumference is the distance around a spherical
NOTE TO
object
TEACHERS
2. Also explain to the learners how to calculate the
Learners must have some
background knowledge of circumference of a circular object: i.e. circumference
what
countries and conditions
are = 2 ∏ r (where ∏ = 22/ 7 and r = radius)
found around the equator 3. Give learners a task card about how big our Earth is to
to be
able to write an imaginar
y journey calculate and complete. (See page xx.)
around the Earth (question
5).
They can use their atlase
s to see
what countries, physical 1. Calculate the radius of the Earth (its thickness from the centre
features,
seas, forests etc. they wil
l come to the edge)
across and they can do a Radius of Earth = thickness of inner core + thickness of outer
research about these pla
ces. core + thickness of mantle + thickness of crust
Radius of Earth = 1300km + 2250km + 2900km + 40km
Radius of Earth = 6 490km
Learner task
2. Calculate the diameter of the Earth
Diameter of Earth = radius x 2
Diameter of Earth = 6490 x 2
Diameter.of Earth = 12 980km
3. Calculate the circumference of the Earth.
Circumference = ∏ x diameter (∏= 22
7)
Circumference = 12 890 km x 227
Circumference = 40 794,285 km
4. Calculate how many days it would take you to walk
around the circumference of the Earth. (You will
walk along the equator all the way round).
Your walking speed is 4km/hour
You must walk all day and all night (24 hours).
A First calculate the distance you will walk in one
whole day (24 hours).
In one hour you walk 4km
Therefore in 24 hours you walk 4km x 24
In one day (24 hours) you walk = 96km
A Then calculate how many days will it take to walk
40 794,285km
In one day you will walk 96km
How many days to walk around the Earth?
Days = 40 794,285 km
96
Days = 424,94 days
Therefore it will take me 424,94 days to walk around
the Earth (a little longer than a year).

17
Learner Task Card (Continued)
Imagine that you have to travel around the Earth along the equator.
Write to tell about your journey.
N.B. You may use your atlas to see what places you will go past and use
what you have learnt in Social Sciences about the conditions in the
equatorial regions.
Learner task Around
the world in 425 days
I left home on the 22nd of October 1999 for the
Democratic Republic of Congo, where I was going to begin
my long journey around the world along the equator. As I started
this journey I realized that most of my travelling would be through
water and tropical rain forests at the equator. I had my coolest clothing
with me because the temperature there is very high throughout the year.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) I had to travel through tropical rain
forests. I was stumbling and falling in the thickest plant growth I ever saw. I had to
push away the thought of meeting a fierce animal in that thick growth. I was grateful to
the small person I made friends with, who helped me to cut and clear my way through the
dense thicket with his panga. In the DRC there are small people called pygmies. I wondered
why these people were so small.
I traveled westwards through to Gabon to cross the Atlantic Ocean to South America. I was
there in time to get a lift from one of the yachts (sailing boats) because there was a yacht race in
Gabon. Unfortunately the yacht race could not start because there was no wind to set the boats
sailing, so I had to use a motorboat to sail across the Atlantic Ocean.
I landed in Brazil, where I had to take a canoe and paddle across the Amazon River to get to the
bottom of the Andes Mountains. When the river became narrower, I had to abandon the canoe and
walk to get to the bottom of the mountain. I had to put on strong shoes to climb around to
Ecuador. I could feel the cold air against my skin as I climbed higher and higher up the
mountain.
At the coast of Ecuador I got onto a boat, which passed the Galapagos Island across the
Pacific Ocean to Malaysia. I had to cross the Island of Borneo through the tropical rain
forests. This time I used my experience to find my way through this dense forest. I had
to sail in a boat again to get to Sumatra and onto another boat to the beautiful Island
of Maldives. The long stretch of sunny beach of this island tempted me to stop for
a short holiday. It was wonderful to lie back in the sun and think about all the
adventures on my journey. By this time I was really feeling home sick and I
was ready to finish my long journey around the world.
I then took another boat trip back to my home continent,
Africa - to the Republic of Somalia. I finally took this
last long trip by boat back home. Oh! It was a
great feeling to touch the South
African soil again.

18
A s se ss m en t
Activity 6 The inside of the Earth

What we want to assess What we expect from learners


The table and questions about the A Correct completion of the table, i. e
concentric layers of the Earth – there should be correct information about each layer
– the crust is the thinnest layer
– the inner core is the hottest layer
The play dough model of the Earth A the model should be spherical
A layers should be concentric, with the inner core as the
inner most layer, followed by the outer core, the mantle
and the thin crust as the outer most layer of the Earth
Drawing of the cut-away section of The drawing should:
the inside structure of the Earth A be clear and show all the layers more or less in their
correct thicknesses
A be correctly labelled
A show that it is a cut-away section
A have a suitable heading
How big is the Earth? A correct calculations i.e. (taking 40 km as the thickness
of the Earth’s crust)
– radius = 6 490km
– diameter = 12 980km
– circumference = 40 794,28km
– 424,94 days
Writing about the journey around The writing should explain:
the Earth along the equator A preparations for the journey, for example what you will
need for the journey
A what you expect to experience on the journey, for
example, kind of weather, other physical and political
features of the Earth, what rivers, mountains, countries
and people you would expect to meet on this journey
A

19
Activity 7 Finding out more about our home
planet
A. We have volcanoes in our planet
• There are weak spots on the Earth’s thin crust
Key concepts • A volcano erupts through the openings on these weak spots
• A volcanic eruption happens when hot lava from molten rock
(magma) or volcanic ash just below the Earth’s crust shoots out
through an opening called a vent at the crust’s weak spots
• This eruption occurs because of the heat and pressure from
inside the Earth

Teacher task 1. Revise the previous activity and make sure the learners understand
that:
A The Earth’s crust is very thin and it has weak spots
A It is very hot inside the Earth
A The layer underneath the Earth’s crust is molten rock and it is very
hot
2. Introduce the lesson about volcanoes by setting up the apparatus to
demonstrate a volcano as shown in the diagram.
Demonstration to show how a volcano works
NOTE TO
TEACHER …
Cork stopper with a hole
tle. Fill it
Use a small glass pill bot
and then Water level
up to the top with water
ea
press the cork in well. Us Small glass pill bottle
that
tissue to mop up any water
n begin
comes out of the hole. The Wire gauze
water in
to heat the water. As the
l,
the pill bottle begins to boi Tripod stand
and
pressure in the bottle rises
in to bu bble
water and steam beg
o.
out of the hole like a volcan
Spirit burner

3. Ask the questions below as the learners observe what is happening:


(a) What is happening to the water?
(b) What comes through the opening?
(c) Why does this happen?

20
looks like the 4. Discuss answers to these questions introducing terms like:
A heating, boiling, pressure, eruption, erupting now and again, steam
principal is
5. Ask the learners if they know of any real situation where some of these
erupting processes take place.
again! 6. Show learners the picture of Mount St. Helens (page 52).
7. Now read and discuss the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens while
the learners follow in their own copies (pages 52–56).
8. Show the learners where Mount St. Helens is on the world map (or on
their paper models of the Earth).

Mt St. Helens

Learner task Read and participate in a class discussion about the volcanic eruption of
Mount St. Helens.

21
Teacher task Teachers’ copy
Inside a volcano

Steam, ash
and lava

Main vent Crater

Side vent
Cone

Earth’s
crust Hot
lava

Very hot molten


(melted) rock

Heat from the centre


of the Earth

1. Explain how a volcanic eruption happens using the big diagram of a


volcano (page 58), and introduce terms like vent at the Earth’s weak
spots on the crust, molten rock (magma), hot lava, cone, volcanic ash
etc.
2. Give learners a task card “Comparing a demonstration of a volcano
and a real volcano” (see page 59).
3. Learners can read about other volcanoes on page 57.

22
Learner task Learner task card
Comparing a demonstration of a volcano and a real
volcano
Steam, ash
and lava
Cork stopper with Main Crater
vent
a hole
Water level
Small glass bottle Side
vent Cone
Gauze

Tripod stand
Earth’s
crust Hot
lava
Spirit burner
Very hot
molten
(melted)
Heat from the rock
centre
of the Earth

1. Label the diagrams and complete the table below.

Questions Demonstration volcano Real volcano

Where does the heat come from? flame centre of the Earth
What erupts out of the hole / vent? hot water and steam steam, ash, & hot lava
What causes this eruption? heat heat and pressure

2. Write to tell what happens in a real volcanic eruption.

Volcanic eruption
Today we learnt about volcanic eruptions.
I learnt that there are weak spots known as vents on the Earth’s thin
crust through which volcanoes erupt.
I also learnt that heat and pressure cause hot lava known as magma
from molten rock to shoot out through these vents from just below the
Earth’s crust.
The other thing I learnt was people live near volcanoes because the
soil becomes rich with minerals and they can grow their crops.
Finally I learnt that volcanoes can erupt at any time, some are waiting
to erupt whereas others are dead.

23
Learner task Learner task card – Project
1. Do some research about any volcano that once erupted in any part of
the world.
2. In this research write sentences to say:
NOTE TO (a) Where and when the volcano erupted
TEACHERS (b) What its visible effects were
Learners can use the (c) Find out if there are any good things about that volcano.
readings about any Write sentences about each aspect of the volcano on one page.
other volcanoes for their
3. Make your own booklet about the volcano you researched by clipping
project (see pages xx) or
(or sticking) your sentence pages together. Do not forget to write
they can use the library
for others. your name and an index.
Ideas for the booklet:
Photograph of the volcano, world map with the place highlighted, details
of the volcano written in full sentences with pictures where applicable.

A s se ss m en t
Activity 7 A. We have volcanoes in our planet

What we want to assess What we expect from learners

Diagrams and writing: Comparing a demonstration of a volcano with a real volcano


a Diagrams should be correctly labeled
a The table should be properly completed i.e. table should
show a clear understanding of what happens in a
demonstration of a volcano and a real volcano
Writing about what happens a Writing should indicate that the learner understands a
in a real volcano volcanic eruption, i.e. heat and pressure continuously push
up the hot lava from the molten rock (magma). A volcanic
eruption happens when hot lava escapes through the vent on
the weaker spots of the Earth’s crust.
Project: Readings and writing The learners should show that they understand the
of sentences about volcanoes readings by:
Producing a zigzag booklet a Indicating the country where the volcano erupted correctly
on a volcano labeled on the paper model of the Earth
a Writing some good sentences with information about each
group’s volcano
a Producing an attractive and informative zigzag booklet on
their volcano
a Etc.

24
B. We need minerals from the Earth’s crust in
our lives
• Minerals used for making useful things such as watches and
pieces of jewellery come from the crust of the Earth
• Minerals that are good for our bodies come from rocks and soil
that are on the Earth’s crust

Teacher task 1. Introduce the term mineral. A mineral is a natural substance from which
rocks are made.
2. Explain that the Earth’s crust is made of rocks and soil which contain
minerals such as gold, diamond, clay, salt, silver etc.
3. Give learners copies of pages 62 and 63 to complete and the Mineral
Fact Sheet on page 64.

Learner task Learner Task Card


So many things come from the Earth’s thin crust

1. Look at the picture of ‘King Arthur’ and think of all the minerals that are
useful to him that come from the Earth’s thin crust.
2. Now read the mineral fact sheet and answer the questions about each
mineral in the spaces on page 62–63.
3. Write five sentences to tell why the Earth’s crust and its minerals are
important to us.
I found out that minerals come from the Earth’s crust

..........................................................

..........................................................

..........................................................

..........................................................

..........................................................

A s se ss m en t
Activity 7 B. We need minerals from the Earth’s crust
What we want to assess What we expect from learners

Completing a table about a Should have correct information about where the mineral
minerals comes from
Writing sentences about Sentences should say:
minerals a what the mineral is
a where the mineral comes from
a why we need that particular mineral
a

25
EARTH & BEYOND: GRADE 7
SUGGESTED WORKSCHEME

PERIOD 1 PERIOD 2 PERIOD 3 PERIOD 4


Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 • Looking at the layers of the
• Choosing a shape which • Putting of continents and • Reading and answering atmosphere and answering
best resembles the shape of colouring in questions about the gases questions about them
the Earth and explanation that form the air (±50 min) (±50 min)
• Discussion about Earth
about own choice being mostly covered by
• Making of the Earth paper water
model (±50 min)
(±50 min)

PERIOD 5 PERIOD 6 PERIOD 7 PERIOD 8


• Reading about how precious Activity 4 Activity 5 • Interpreting a table about
air is and how we pollute it • Looking at the physical • Reading about nine planets the planets in the solar
• Answering questions and features of the Earth and sequencing them system (±50 min)
writing a praise poem about (±15 min) (± 50 min)
air • Reading about and
(±50 min) comparing planet Earth and
the sun
(± 35 min)

PERIOD 9 PERIOD 10 PERIOD 11 PERIOD 12


Activity 6a Activity 6b Activity 6b (cont) Activity 6c
• Revising Earth’s outside • Looking at the Earth’s inside • Making the play dough • Explanation of terminology
features and starting to think structure diagram model of the Earth related to measurement of
about the inside structure • Reading about it and • Drawing the cut-away circles
(Astro sweet activity) completing a table section of the model • Learners doing calculations
(±50 min) (±50 min) (±50 min) and writing about their
imaginary journey around
the Earth along the equator
(±50 min)

PERIOD 13 PERIOD 14 PERIOD 16 PERIOD 18


Activity 7 • Reading and discussing • Writing about what happens • Learners complete their
• Demonstration of a volcano about the Mount St. Helens in a real volcanic situation writing and make their
with learners observing and volcano (±50 min) (±50 min) zigzag books.
answering questions PERIOD 15 PERIOD 17 (±50 min)
• Introduction of terminology • Explanation of how a real • Project: PERIOD 19
to do with a volcanic volcano happens A brief research about a Activity 7b
eruption • Completion of a task card volcano and showing • Introducing minerals
(±50 min) comparing a demonstration learners how to make their • Completing a task card
of a volcano and a real own zigzag books about minerals
volcano (±50 min) (±50 min)
(±50 min)

Total time to finish the activities in this learning programme = 19 PERIODS @ 50


minutes per period = 950 min = close to 16 hours. This is about 4 weeks of work.
(Recommended time per week for the Natural Sciences is 4 hours)

26
28
29
Activity 3a – Reading
The Earth’s atmosphere is a mixture of gases
The air we breathe is a mixture of gases that surround the Earth in layers.
all Air keeps the Earth’s surface at just the right temperature to support life.
These layers of air and other gases are also called the Earth’s
these gases atmosphere.
are mixed 20% oxygen
together

1% argon and
other rare gases

less than 1%
carbon dioxide

78% nitrogen

that’s
what we
breathe!

The air we breathe also contains the following:


A Water vapour
A Fumes called hydrocarbons, which come from car exhausts, factories
and fires
A Dust particles
A Other gases, in very small amounts; for example ozone, argon, neon,
helium and krypton

Air and living creatures and plants


A We cannot see or taste air.
A We can detect changes in air temperature on
e
our skins. We can feel the air moving
I can’t se
xygen or
around us.
A We can hear air moving as wind. a n y O

Without air there would be no life on Earth. Nitrogen
People can survive for about a month without
food, and a few days without water but we
cannot survive without air for more than a
few minutes.
All living things need air.
All animals as well as plants ‘breathe’ and use
oxygen and give off carbon dioxide to stay alive.

30
Graph paper

31
Activity 3a – Air and living creatures
Why do we breathe air?
When we breathe in, air goes into our lungs. The oxygen in the air goes
into the blood vessels surrounding our lungs.
The oxygen is carried by the blood to every cell in our bodies.
Here the oxygen is used to break down the food in the cells, and release
the energy stored in food. We need the energy to move, think, breathe,
work and play. After the energy has been released, carbon dioxide gas is
given off and carried by the blood back to the lungs. The carbon dioxide
is released into the lungs where it mixes with air and is breathed out.
All animals and plants use oxygen and give off carbon dioxide in order to
produce the energy for them to grow and develop.
However, plants also use carbon dioxide from the air to make food.
Plants take carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil and energy
from the sunlight to make food. This process is called photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis means ‘making with light’.
The food that plants make is called starch. When we eat foods containing
starch such as mealie-pap or potatoes, this starch was made by the
mealie plant and the potato plant.
During photosynthesis plants give out oxygen into the air.

Read about air and the living things and discuss the following questions
in your groups.
1. Why is oxygen important for all living things?
2. How is oxygen carried to every cell in our bodies?
3. What do plants use carbon dioxide for?
4. Where do plants get carbon dioxide from?

32
Activity 3b – Layers of the atmosphere

IONOSPHERE
This layer absorbs dangerous rays
from the sun. Radio waves coming
from Earth reach this layer and are
bounced back to a different part of
the Earth where they are picked up
by peoples’ TVs and radios. This is
how radio programmes are
transmitted around the world.

MESOSPHERE
This layer is very cold (–100°C). It
protects the Earth from rocks (meteors)
and dust that fly into the atmosphere
from space.

STRATOSPHERE
This layer is like a shield. It protects the
Earth and living things from the sun’s
dangerous rays.

TROPOSPHERE
This layer has all the air that we need for
breathing.
All animals and plants live in this layer. This
layer has water vapour and clouds and this is
where we find different kinds of weather. The
gases making up the Earth’s atmosphere become
less and less the further you go away from the
Earth until there is no atmosphere at all in space.

Half of the atmosphere is below here

The gases making up the Earth’s atmosphere


become less the further you go away from the Earth
until there is no atmosphere in space.

33
Activity 3c What pollutes the air?
The air is precious
The Earth’s air is the only air that we have. It is the same air that our
ancestors breathed. It is the same air that the dinosaurs once breathed.
We breathe the same air that our dogs and cats breathe. The air we
breathe is the same air that has passed through our motor car engines
and factory chimneys and the plants outside.
The same air is used over and over again because it is the only air that we
have. We can’t get any more air from anywhere else.
When we make the air dirty from engines and factories, we call this
polluting the air.

WHAT POLLUTES OUR AIR?

This picture shows all the


different things that pollute the air.
The polluted air is used again and again.

Air pollution
We say that the air is polluted when it becomes dirty.
Substances that make the air dirty are produced in many different ways:
A When we burn fossil fuels (coal and oil) in power stations to make
electricity
A When we make things that require burning and heating in factories
A When we drive motor cars which always give off fumes
A When we burn rubbish and motor car tyres
A When we burn grass, bushveld and trees.
Strong sunlight interacts with the exhaust fumes from
motor vehicles and this can produce poisonous
gases. Sometimes we can see and smell these gases.
They have a brownish colour and we call this smog.
Smog is dangerous to plants and animals.

34
Activity 4 – Reading
The Earth is a planet
The Earth is a planet. It is shaped like a ball and it moves through space
around the sun on its own pathway known as the orbit. It gets its heat and
light from the sun. It is the only planet that has life as far as we know. It is
made up of rock whereas other planets are made up of rock and gas.

The Earth The sun


The sun is a star
The sun is a star and not a planet. It is a huge ball of very hot gases. It
gives off light and heat. It is the closest star to planet Earth. We get heat
and light from our local star, which is the sun. It is more than hundred
times bigger than the Earth. The sun has nine planets including the Earth
that move around it in space.

Learner Task – Activity 4


1. Complete the following table to compare our Earth and the sun.

Questions EARTH SUN

1. Is it a planet or a star?
2. What is it made of?
3. Does it give out light and heat?
4. Which is bigger, the Earth or the sun?
5. Can life survive on it?

2. Write sentences to compare the differences between planet Earth and


the sun. (Use the table to help you.)
.........................................................
.........................................................
.........................................................
.........................................................

35
The nine planets in our solar system
All pictures courtesy NASA

The four Galilean moons


Jupiter
Diameter 142 800 km
Mass 318 Earth masses
Distance from the sun 800 million km
Number of moons 16
Rotation period length of day in Earth
hours 9.8
Time to go round the sun length of year in Earth
years 11.9
Jupiter is the largest of the gas giants. The white
clouds that we see are at a temperature of –153° C
Jupiter has 16 known
and consist of ammonia ice crystals. Lower down, moons, but four are
the clouds are coloured red and brown by organic larger than the rest
compounds and chemicals such as sulphur. Winds and can be seen
speeds of over 400 km/h are common; the Great easily with
binoculars. They are
Red Spot is thought to be a long-lived hurricane
known as the
and is larger than Earth. Jupiter probably has a rock “Galilean moons”
or ice core surrounded by liquid hydrogen with after their discoverer
helium dissolved in it. Galileo.

36
Earth
Our Home Planet
Diameter 12 750 km
Distance from sun 150 million km
Rotation period length of day in
Earth hours
23.93
Time to go round length of year in
the sun Earth days
365.24

Uranus
Diameter 51 118 km
Mass 14.5 Earth masses
Mercury Distance from the sun 3000 million km
Diameter 4 878 km Number of moons 15
Mass 0.06 Earth masses Rotation period length of day in Earth
hours 17.9
Distance from Sun 60 million km
Time to go round the sun
Number of moons none
length of year in Earth
Rotation period length of day in years 84
Earth days 58.7
Uranus shows an almost featureless green
Time to go round the sun length of year in ‘surface’ of clouds floating in a cold (–197°C)
Earth days 88 atmosphere of hydrogen, helium and methane.
Beneath the clouds, most of Uranus (85%) is
At the equator it is hot enough to melt lead. At
ice.
the poles there are craters with ice frozen to
–150 °C. Mercury has no atmosphere.

37
Venus
Diameter 12 104 km
Mass 0.8 Earth masses
Distance from Sun 104 million km
Number of moons none
Rotation period length of day in Earth days
243
Time to go round the sun length of year in Earth
days 225
Venus is a hot and hostile planet. An atmosphere of
carbon dioxide 90 times as dense as Earth’s keeps
the surface hot enough to melt lead. Clouds of
sulphuric acid hide its surface.

Saturn Diameter 120 660 km


Like Jupiter, Saturn is a gas giant Mass 95 Earth masses
consisting mainly of hydrogen and
Distance from Sun 1 400 million km
helium. Its famous ring in fact consists
of thousands of narrow rings made up Number of moons 18
of lumps of ice and rock as small as Rotation period length of day in Earth hours 10.2
dust grains and as large as a minibus. Time to go round the sun length of year in Earth years 29.5

38
Mars
Diameter 6 787 km
Mass 0.1 Earth masses
Distance from Sun 240 million km
Number of moons Two. Phobos and Deimos
Rotation period length of day in Earth hours
24.62
Time to go round length of year in Earth
the sun days 687
The atmosphere of Mars is 100 times less dense
than Earth’s and consists mainly of carbon dioxide,
with traces of water vapour. In winter temperatures
drop to –125 °C, giving Mars its well known white
‘ice caps’. In summer equatorial temperatures can
reach 20 °C. The planet’s reddish colour is caused
by iron in the soil. Bacterial life forms may once
have existed on Mars.

Neptune
Diameter 49 528 km
Mass 17 Earth masses
Distance from sun 4 500 million km
Number of moons 8
Rotation period length of day in Earth
hours 19.1
Time to go round the sun length of year in Earth
years 164.8

Neptune is another ‘ice giant’ like Uranus and even


colder (–225°C). Its bluish atmosphere of hydrogen
and helium shows occasional large dark spots, and is
probably the windiest place in the solar system with
storm winds reaching speeds of 1400 km/h.

Pluto
Diameter 2 300 km
Mass 0.0025 Earth masses
Distance from sun 4 400–7 400 million km
Number of moons 1
Rotation period length of day in Earth days 6.4
Time to go round the sun
length of year in Earth years 247.7
Pluto is smallest of the planets, and usually the
remotest and coldest. At –233°C, frost of methane
and nitrogen coat the pinkish surface. Pluto’s grayish
moon, Charon, is only 19 400 km away, and more than
half Pluto’s diameter.

39
The Solar System

40
SUN

41
The Planets fact sheet

PLANET Distance from Size of planet Number Other features


the sun in km (diameter in km) of moons

Mercury 60 000 000 km 5 000 km 0 It looks like our moon

Venus 104 000 000 km 12 000 km 0 It is the brightest


planet

Earth 150 000 000 km 13 000 km 1 It is the only planet


known to have life on
it

Mars 240 000 000 km 7 000 km 2 It is known as the


red planet

Jupiter 800 000 000 km 143 000 km 16 It has a red spot and
striped appearance

Saturn 1 400 000 000 km 120 000 km 18 It has a set of rings


around it

Uranus 3 000 000 000 km 52 000 km 15 It looks green. Most


of it is ice.

Neptune 4 500 000 000 km 50 000 km 8 It appears blue

Pluto 5 900 000 000 km 2 000 km 1 Very little is known


about this planet

42
Learner Task Card – Activity 5
The Solar System
Use the Planets fact sheet and answer the questions that follow:

The solar system

1. Label all the planets’ names on the drawing of the sun and its family of
planets (solar system)
2. Complete the following
• The hottest planet is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
• The coldest planet is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
• The biggest planet is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
• The smallest planet is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
• The planet which is closest to the sun is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
• The planet furthest from the sun is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
• The planet which takes 365 ¢ days to travel around the sun is
......................................................
• The planet which takes longest to travel around the sun is
......................................................
3. Now use the information about the distances from the sun to
calculate:
(a) How far away are we from Mercury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .km.
(b) How far away are we from Pluto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .km
(c) How far away is our planet from Mars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .km

43
Activity 6 B. Inside the Earth

crust

The Earth’s Inner Core


The inner core is at the very centre of the Earth. This is a very dense layer
made of metals such as iron and nickel. The temperature of the inner
core reaches about 5 000°C. Iron and Nickel will usually melt at this
temperature, but the enormous pressure from the layers above pushes the
particles of iron and nickel so tightly together that they remain solid.
The iron in the inner core may explain why there is a magnetic field around
the Earth. Scientists think that the iron produces an effect similar to the
magnetic field around a magnet.
The thickness (radius) from the centre of the inner core to its edge is
about 1 300 kilometers (km).
The inner core is about 5 150 km below the Earth’s surface.
The Earth’s Outer Core
The outer core surrounds the inner core. The outer core is also made of
iron and nickel. This layer is also very hot. The temperature in the upper
part is about 2 200° C but near to the inner core, the temperature is
almost 5 000°C. This tremendous heat makes the iron and nickel in the
outer core melt. We say it is molten. This means it is like a very hot liquid.

44
The outer core is about 2 250 km thick and it is about 2 900 km below the
Earth surface.
The Earth’s Mantle
The mantle is the layer of the Earth that lies above the outer core. Most of
the Earth is made up of the mantle (about 80%). The Earth’s mantle is
made of some solid and some melted rock (magma) mixed together. The
mantle is slightly soft and runny because it is hot. We say that it is ‘plastic’
because it can bend to change its shape. This does not mean it is plastic
but it can behave like plastic.
The mantle is about 2 900 km thick.
The Earth’s Crust
The Earth’s crust is the thin outer layer of the Earth. All living things are
found on the Earth’s crust or just below and above it. The crust is solid. It
is not ‘plastic’ or molten like the other layers.
The crust is made of three types of solid rocks: igneous, sedimentary and
metamorphic rocks. These rocks contain mostly oxygen and silicon
(sand). Other common minerals found in the Earth’s crust are aluminium,
iron, calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. We also get precious
metals such as gold in the crust.
The crust is thin, like the peel on an apple. It is much thinner than the
other layers of the Earth. Its average thickness is only about 8 km.
The part of the crust beneath the oceans, called oceanic crust, is also thin
(less than 10 km). Oceanic crust is made mostly of silicon, oxygen, iron
and magnesium.
The crust beneath the continents, called continental crust, is about 32 km
thick. Beneath the mountains, continental crust is even thicker than 32 km.

RECIPE for PLAYDOUGH


INGREDIENTS: METHOD:
1 cup flour 1. Put all the ingredients together in a pot
2. Cook the mixture on moderate heat until it
1 cup water
goes thick like porridge (about 3 minutes)
1 tablespoon oil
3. Wait for the mixture to cool off and roll it
1 teaspoon cream of tartar into a ball
1 teaspoon food colouring (Put some flour on your hands first)
™ cup salt 4. Store your dough in a plastic bag in the
fridge
N.B. for making the play dough model of the
Earth you will need four different colours.
1. Plain white dough (no food colouring) for the
crust
2. Yellow dough (add yellow food colouring) for
the mantle - so you need a lot
3. Orange dough (mix red and yellow food
colouring) for the outer-core
4. Red dough (add red food colouring) for the
inner-core.

45
Learner Task Card – Activity 6
B. Inside the Earth
1. Read about the different layers of the Earth and complete the table
below.

Name of Earth’s layer INNER CORE OUTER CORE MANTLE CRUST


Thickness in km.(approx.)
Position where found

2. Use play dough to make a model of the Earth.


N.B. Use the following colours
red play dough to represent the hot inner core
orange play dough to represent the outer core
yellow play dough to represent the mantle
white play dough to represent the Earth’s crust
3. Cut the model in half with cotton so that you can see inside.
4. Then cut it into quarters.
5. Hold three quarters together.
6. Draw this cut-away section of your model and label the different layers
inside Earth.

Use red play dough to represent Wrap yellow play dough Put on the final layer of white
the hot inner core. Cover it with around to represent the play dough to represent the
orange play dough to represent mantel. crust.
the outer core.

Cut the model in


half with a piece
of cotton

This is what you get …

46
Learner task card – Activity 6
C. How big is our Earth?
1. Calculate the radius of the Earth. (Its thickness from the centre to the edge.) . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.................................................................................
2. Calculate the diameter of the Earth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3. Calculate the circumference of the Earth: circumference = ∏ x diameter (∏ = 22 ).
7
............................................................................
............................................................................
............................................................................
4. Calculate how many days it would take you to walk around the circumference of the Earth
(you will walk along the equator all the way round).
Your walking speed is 4km/hours. You must walk all day and all night (24 hours).
.................................................................................
.................................................................................
.................................................................................
.................................................................................
.................................................................................
.................................................................................
.................................................................................
.................................................................................

Writing task Activity 6 – How big is our Earth?


Imagine that you have to travel around the Earth along the equator write to tell about your journey.
N.B. You may use your atlas to see what places you will go past and use what you have learnt in
Social Sciences about the conditions in the equatorial regions.

.................................................................................

.................................................................................

.................................................................................

.................................................................................

.................................................................................

.................................................................................

.................................................................................

.................................................................................

.................................................................................

47
WAITING FOR THE ERUPTION
Mount St Helens, Seattle, USA

ount St. Helens was like a time bomb, reported was powerful and came out of the side

M ticking away towards “self-destruction”.


Seven weeks before the eruption, the
world heard that the mountain was a danger
of the mountain. Red-hot rocks and steaming
gases travelling at 400km an hour, blasted out of
the mountain. It swept him and his research
because ash and steam began to pour out of the station off the side of the mountain to his death.
top of it. Mount St Helens is usually covered with His body has yet to be found.
layers of ice and snow. It is in southwestern
What happened during the eruption – Sunday, 18
Washington in America. This is a beautiful land of
May 1980
deep forests, rushing streams, rich farmlands and
In the first seconds of the eruption the side of
nearby cities.
Mount St Helens collapsed. This caused waves of
The people waited anxiously as they
ice to tumble down into the hot ash. Quickly the
experienced small eruptions and earthquakes
18,4 billion kilograms of ice melted, and about 46
from Mount St Helens. Days and weeks passed
billion litres of water created a mud and water
without disaster and people began to relax. Every
flood.
now and then the volcano shook the ground and
It caused a disaster, sending mud, ash, broken
the steam and ash appeared. But many people
trees and rocks down the South Toutle River
thought that the mountain seemed to be calming
Valley, for 30 km.
down. Then they noticed that its north side began
Like a monster, the flood destroyed the river,
to bulge and grow bigger.
roads, trees, trucks, a few cars and caravans. As
The eruption starts the flood swept on, a million tree logs tumbled on
“This is it …” With those excited words, David the crest of the wave.
Johnston, a geologist for the United States
WHAT PEOPLE SAW AND EXPERIENCED
Geological Survey, announced the end of calm
and the start of disaster. David was thirty years Eye-witness 1
old and blond and bearded. He was six miles “There’s no way, there’s just no way anyone could
from Mount St Helens at a scientific station on the be alive up there.” The camp is covered by more
side of another mountain. He was studying Mount than a metre of ash. The only sign of the camp is
St Helens and watching for any changes and the top of a car. It’s full of ash. The windows are
eruptions. blown in. I tried to blow the ash away but it boiled
Those words were his last. The eruption he up. The ash was still very hot. “That’s where the

48
village was!” There was no sign of the homes, no of trees and other debris into the lake, which,
sign of a tree, a road, or anything familiar. along with water from the melting ice raised its
We saw 30-metre tall cranes fallen and twisted, water level by about 60 metres.
bulldozers overturned, trucks buried or wrecked.
Eye-witness 2
Here and there we saw a car or bakkie with its
They were flying in a small aeroplane directly over
windows shattered. Were there victims inside?
the mountain at 8:32 a.m. on May 18.
Here a body lies by a station wagon’s open door,
“We arrived at 7:50 in the morning and flew
there is another in the back of a truck.
twice directly over the crater (the opening in the
Mud had also buried miles of the South Toutle
top of the mountain) and several times around the
River Valley, and floods had passed through,
mountain,” Dorothy said. “The thing that
tossing acres of huge logs into chaos and
impressed us was that it didn’t look like an active
wrecking a train.
volcano – more like one going to sleep.”
An avalanche (mass of snow) swept thousands
Then they saw a frightening sight: “We were

49
making a final flight over the crater when Keith there weeks later. After eight hours a helicopter
started to see ice sliding off the mountain. rescued the other three, two of whom died in a
Suddenly, the whole north half of the mountain hospital.
began to slide away, directly beneath us! I went
Eye-witness 4.
into shock. Keith took pictures while steam
“This black, black cloud, of a blackness like I had
started to come out from under the snow.”
never seen, came over, and of course we thought
Then he ran out of film.
it was going to be a tremendous rainstorm. Then
“That’s what saved our lives, because then
we could see little drops on the lake, and we
Keith glanced over his shoulder and saw the
looked at our coats and saw we weren’t getting
sideways blast starting and recognised the
wet. Then it all occurred to us that it had to be an
danger of our situation. He told the pilot, Bruce
eruption of Mount St. Helens.
Judson, that we had to get out of there.
So we dashed for camp, but by the time we
“Bruce accelerated the plane. Ash began to
started packing we had to use torches. The only
explode out of the mountain forming a huge
way we could see to drive was to look for the
cloud but we feared the ash cloud was going to
edge of the road – all the time hoping no one was
catch up with us. We were travelling east and so
stopped in front of us.”
was the cloud. Then we could see lightning in the
cloud. Keith was afraid the lightning would strike Eye-witness 5
the plane. The pilot turned south and dived to A death toll of hundreds – even thousands –
gain speed.” seemed likely that Sunday, May 18, as the
Though the frightening cloud was like an mountain erupted inside out. The ash swept
umbrella overhead, they finally escaped. darkly over the beautiful Yakima Valley, across
“It took me a month to learn to relax,” Dorothy fields of wheat around Moses Lake and a town
said. Her mind plays and replays the thought that called Ritzville and settled on other cities. Cars,
If they had stayed a few seconds more, that little trucks, buses, trains and planes stopped. People
aeroplane would have flipped and fallen like a coming out of church, prayed on their way home.
burned grasshopper, and they would have died. Service stations, restaurants and shops closed.
“I felt a growing fear for all of us living on a The ash caused the electricity to fail. Thousands
planet, whose crust is so thin and fragile, on top of people travelling on the roads tried to find
of such terrible heat and pressure. Never again, shelter in hotels, schools and homes. You could
would I feel safe about this world we live on.” see nothing ahead of you, even with the car
Eye-witness 3 headlights.
“There was no sound to it, not a sound – it was like In the town of Yakima, midnight seemed to
a silent movie, and we were all in it. First the ash arrive at 9:30 in the morning and street lamps
cloud shot out to the east, then to the west, then burned all day. In memory it has become Black
some lighter cloud started shooting straight up. Sunday.
At the same time the ash started coming right The ash was composed of fine volcanic glass
down towards us. I could see boulders – they particles; the cloud was itself a mass of sharp
must have been huge – being hurled out of the glass. Insects died as their bodies dried out in the
mountain. heat. Some small creatures quickly choked.
“In frantic haste that seemed in slow motion, Some birds lost their way and could not see and
we scurried into six trucks and dashed toward fell to the ground. Larger animals were almost
safety over mountain roads. We were the lucky suffocated and behaved strangely. Cattle and
ones. Only the day before, we had been working deer and elk (a large buck with horns) wandered
on the northeast side of the mountain, now a around in a daze.
dead gray hell.”
Some 35km away, a group of four men cutting
trees was caught by the blast. They tried to walk
out, their scorched clothing sticking to their
burned skin. One man climbed a tree to escape
the fiery blanket of ash, and his body was found

50
51
He refused to leave Life and Mount St. Helens
were one and the same for
Harry Truman, 84. For more
than half a century he had
lived beneath the snow
crowned peak, where he
built a guest lodge beside
Spirit Lake. Harry refused to
flee last March when the
volcano, only five miles
away, awakened: “If I got
out of here, I wouldn’t live a
day, not a day.” “I talk to the
mountain, the mountain
talks to me. I am part of that
mountain, the mountain is
part of me.” On May 18 St.
Helens buried the lodge
under hundreds of feet of
ash and debris and the
raised waters of Spirit Lake,
and Harry’s words became
reality.

52
There have been others …
Mount Pele’e has been giving out gas since
VESUVIUS 1889, but in April 1902 the volcano began
Volcanic eruption, Italy, AD 79 erupting. By May, people began to fear danger as
In the year 79 AD three Roman towns, Stabiae, clouds of steam and ash poured from the
Herculaneum and Pompeii were destroyed when volcano, darkening the sky and covering the
a volcano in mount Vesuvius erupted. The towns streets like a blanket of snow. Many people left St.
situated around the bay of Naples, were buried Pierre after water from a crater was spat out by an
under tons of volcanic ash. eruption. Mud swept away a nearby factory with
Pompeii was a successful market town and a 23 of the people who worked there.
port that traded in the products of the farms in the A large black eruption cloud poured down
area. The farmland was fertile because of the Mont Pele’e and raced through St. Pierre at a
presence of mineral-rich ash from the previous terrifying speed. The cloud was hot enough to
eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, which had been melt a glass. It happened so suddenly that people
inactive for hundreds of years. had no time to take cover, let alone escape the
Many of the residents of Herculaneum were deadly cloud.
burned alive by the hot ash and gas. These were Within seconds the cloud had killed all but two
followed by dense flows of light rock called of the people of St. Pierre, Ciparis, a prisoner in an
pumice and ash which entombed (buried) the underground cell and Leon the shoemaker.
people who lived there.
NEVADO DEL RUIZ
HEIMAEY Volcanic eruption, Colombia, South America
Volcanic eruption, Iceland, 1973 1985
On 23 January 1973 the ground split open on the An eruption of the remote Nevado del Ruiz
island of Heimaey in Iceland. Lava began to shoot volcano on 13 November 1985 caused the
out 150 metres into the air. The people who were second deadliest volcanic tragedy of the twentieth
living there quickly made their way to the harbour century. The heat of the ash and the gases
and were taken to a place of safety. released during the eruption melted a large
On the night of the eruption, a wall of flaming section of the mountain’s ice cap.
lava roared into the air on the outskirts of the town. The water from the melting ice poured down
Houses burst into flames as streams of glowing the mountain, carrying tons of sticky mud. This
lava swallowed them. People were not able to mud flowed down a river valley near the town of
save their homes or the island from being Armero, sending a 40 metre high wave of mud
swallowed by the lava and the ash. towards the town. Around 21 000 people were
The eruption lasted for five months. When it killed by the mud, along with over 1000 others in
finally stopped, two km long lava flow had the neighbouring villages.
swallowed The ash from the past eruptions enriched the
a large section of the island. Fortunately only soils in the central parts of Colombia, creating
one life was lost, but 1 200 homes had been excellent farm land. Armero a town with 23 000
destroyed. residents, had been located about 50 kilometers
from the volcano and had been built up around
MONT PELE’E warehouses that stored rice, cotton and coffee,
Volcanic eruption, Martinique, West Indies which was grown in the area.
1902
In 1902, St. Pierre was the largest town on the tiny MOUNT NYIRAGONGO
French island of Martinique which was home to Volcanic eruption, Goma, Democratic Republic
about 30 000 inhabitants. The people who lived of Congo, January 2002
here were used to the rumbling noise of Mont Tens of thousands of people were driven from this
Pele’e, which was 1,379 metres high and was large town ahead of streaming lava when Mount
located less than 8 kilometres away. Nyiragonga erupted early this year. More than 300

53
54
Steam, ash and
lava

Main vent Crater

Side vent
Cone

Earth’s
Hot
crust
lava

Very hot molten


(melted) rock

Heat from the centre


of the Earth
Learner task card – Activity 7
A. Comparing a demonstration of a volcano and a
real volcano
1. Label the diagrams and complete the table below.

Questions Demonstration volcano Real volcano

Where does the heat come from?


What erupts out of the hole / vent?
What causes this eruption?

2. Write to tell what happens in a real volcanic eruption.

Volcanic eruption
Today we learnt about volcanic eruptions.

I learnt that - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
I also learnt that -------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The other thing I learnt was - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally I learnt that - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

55
Learner Task Card – Activity 7b
B. So many things come from the Earth’s thin crust
1. Look at the picture of ‘King Arthur’ and think of all the minerals that are useful to him that come
from the Earth’s thin crust.

2. Now read the mineral fact sheet and answer the questions about each mineral in the spaces on
page 62–63.
3. Write five sentences to tell why the Earth’s crust and its minerals are important to us.
I found out that minerals come from the Earth’s crust

..................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
..................................................................
...................................................................
...................................................................
56
Activity 7 B. Mineral fact sheet
NAME OF MINERAL FACTS ABOUT IT

Gold Comes from deep inside the Earth’s crust. We have to dig deep
mines to find it.

Silver Comes from rocks in the Earth’s crust. We have to dig mines to
find it. We have to purify it from the rocks.

Salt Comes from sea water. Sea water is salty from minerals that have
been washed from the land. We have to dry (evaporate) the sea
water to get salt.

Diamonds Come from the Earth’s mantle and they get pushed up to the
Earth’s crust during volcanic activities.

Chalk (lime) Is soft rock from the crust which has formed from many layers of
dead sea animals and their shells.

Coal Is a rock formed from the bodies of dead plants and animals,
which were buried under many layers of rocks. We find coal by
digging deep mines in certain places in the crust.

Clay This is a mineral, which we find in soil. We find pure clay in certain
parts of the crust. We can make clay pots from it.

Tungsten This is a metal, which is mined from the crust. We use it to make
the wires of light bulbs.

Silicon Most sand on the surface of the Earth is made of silicon. When
we melt it at a very high temperature it becomes glass.

Copper This is a metal, which we mine from the crust. We use it for
making electrical wires.

Iron This is a metal, which is found in red soils. We have to heat the
soil in a hot oven to get the iron out. We use it to make steel to
produce nails and screws.

Iron in our bodies We have iron in our blood. It makes our blood red and carries
oxygen. We get iron from eating plants which take up iron from
the soil, e.g. green vegetables.

Fluoride This is a mineral found in water. It gets into water from the soil
and the rocks. It is put into toothpaste to make our teeth strong.

Calcium Comes from soil. We get calcium from animals that eat plants
that grow in the soil e.g. in cow’s milk. Calcium makes our bones
strong.

57
What does ‘king of kwaito’ Arthur Mofekate need?
So many things come from the Earth’s thin crust
1. Look at the picture of ‘King Arthur’ and think of all the minerals that are
useful to him that come from the Earth’s thin crust.
2. Now read the mineral fact sheet on page 64 and answer the questions
about each mineral in the spaces below.
3. Write about six sentences about minerals from
the Earth’s crust. Remember to write a heading.
You may begin like this:
I found out that we need minerals from the Earth’s
crust. I know that minerals are important to me
because . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
...........................................

• Where did the fluoride in his toothpaste


come from?

• Where does this chalk


come from?

• Where did the tungsten


wires in this light bulb come
from?

• His ear ring is made


of gold. Where did
the gold come from?

• Where did the silicon to


make glass come
from?

• Where do diamonds
come from?

58
• Where did the iron in
his food come from?

• He uses salt to make his food


tasty. Where did it come from?

• Where did the calcium that made


his teeth and bones strong come
from?

• This cutlery is made of • Where did the clay


silver. Where did it come to make this cup
from? come from?

• Where did the


copper in the wires
of these electrical appliances and
equipment come from? • Where did the iron and steel in his car come from?

• Where does the coal for


this fireplace come from?

59