The Earth and Moon are a unit that revolves around the
Sun. The Moon has no surface water or atmosphere like the Earth, and is
geologically inactive. The Earth is a very different place. The Earth,
especially its surface, change continually over time.
Several factors contribute to changes in the Earth’s
surface. Plate tectonics slowly and constantly reshapes the configuration of
the continents and ocean basins, as well as raising mountains that sometimes
volcanoes. When volcanoes erupt, the lava creates different shapes on the
surface. The different components of the Water Cycle bring rain, snow, and ice to the
surface of the Earth. Erosion and transport of loose material from the rain
and ice slowly wear mountains and fill in low areas due to gravity.
In this activity, students will begin to look at the
Earth in more detail. Locate and name the major land and ocean areas of the
Earth’s surface. You may wish to emphasize that these areas change through
- Discuss with students where we get the information to see the surface
of the Earth. Before we had satellites it was very difficult to
collect data because humans could not see the entire globe. Early
humans could not tell if the Earth was flat or spherical. Play the
song "Beep Beep" so students can understand that we actually
use satellites to see the world today.
- Divide the class into groups of two or three, depending on the number
of globes you have available. Give each group an inflatable globe. If
you have other relief maps, especially of your local area, you may wish
to have them available for the students to examine.
- Students should answer the questions on their lab sheets by
examining the globes. Review the questions with the class in advance to
make sure they understand what to do.
- Here are answers to the questions. These are specific to the
inflatable globe. Other globes may have more or less information. If you
use a different globe, be sure to review the information.
- Is there more land or water? More water (71%)
- How many oceans are there? Four
Name them: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic (However, the
globe shows a "Southern Ocean" and omits Arctic - You
decide how to handle this discrepancy. Other globes may be
- How many seas are there? Twenty five.
Name them: Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Aral
Sea, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Baltic Sea, Greenland Sea, Norwegian Sea,
North Sea, Labrador Sea, Antilles Sea, Beaufort Sea, Siberia Sea,
Laptev Sea, Sea of Okkhotsk, Sea of Japan, Philippine Sea, East
China Sea, South China Sea, Timor Sea, Coral Sea, Ross Sea, Amen
Sea, Wedell Sea.
- How many continents are there? Six
Name them: Africa, Australia, North America, South
America, Eur-Asia, Antarctica. Although most books will say seven,
it is difficult to divide Europe and Asia into two land masses. You
decide if you want six or seven, be sure to explain your reasoning
tho the class.
- Which continent has the most mountains? Eur-Asia
- Which continent has the most ice? Antarctica
- Which continent has the most tropical forests and jungles?
- Which ocean has the most islands? Pacific