Lesson Plan

Layers of the Earth's Atmosphere

The Earth's atmosphere protects and sustains life on Earth and insulates the planet
Sheryl F.
Classroom teacher
Holly Hills Elementary School
Denver, United States
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My Grades 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Learning

Students will be able to...

1.  Explain how the Earth's atmosphere protects and sustains life on Earth.

2.  Explain how the Earth's atmosphere insulates the planet. 

3.  Use group and individual collaboration goals to deepen understandings during turn and talks and Padlet comment sharing.

4.  Use the think alouds and questions embedded in the EDpuzzle video to deepen understandings, reflect on content, and build content vocabulary.

5.  Use EDpuzzle to provide content in a form that that can be accessed by all reading levels.

6.  Use EDpuzzle to build background so that students may more easily access written text on same topic.

7.  Use Padlet to read, extend and share thinking, and build on the ideas of others.

8.  Use Pear Deck to collect formative data on progress toward meeting objectives .

English Language Arts
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Free, Paid

Pre-assess Guiding Question: How much do you already know about the Earth's atmosphere?

Have students self-assess their background knowledge on the layers of the Earth's atmosphere using a fist of five. Students then defend their self-assessment to their talking partner. i.e.- My background knowledge on the Earth's atmosphere is a 3 because....

Gather a class average of the self-assessment from the student show and share with class what you see from collective group on level of background knowledge.

Explain to students how we can add to our background knowledge in a self-paced way, interacting, listening and answering questions at our own rate on EDpuzzle. We can be in control of our learning by pacing the video to our needs and going back if necessary. Students can also get immediate feedback on their answers to the embedded questions and rewatch to clarify any incorrect responses.

Essential Question 1: (EDpuzzle)  How does the Earth's atmosphere protect and sustain life on Earth and insulate the planet?

Essential Question 2: (Padlet) How does this layer of the Earth's atmosphere support the protection of life on Earth?

Essential Question 3: (Padlet) How does this layer of the atmosphere work with the other layers of the atmosphere to protect life on Earth? 

Explain to students there are several "tools" (Edpuzzle, Padlet, Pear Deck) they will be using today to reach the objectives for the lesson.



Student Instructions






2 Direct Instruction

Free, Paid

Explain to students the rationale behind using Edpuzzle, including answering the questions and reflecting on the think alouds embedded within. The point of adding questions is that it keeps us engaged, helps us process what we're learning, and checks for understanding.

Sometimes we stare at a screen without really thinking about the content, or our minds wander. These comments and questions embedded in EDpuzzle can help us focus on the content, scaffold learning, and take thinking to the next level. 

As learners, students will be taking control of their pacing of the material based on their needs.

Essential Question 1: (EDpuzzle)  How does the Earth's atmosphere protect and sustain life on Earth and insulate the planet?

3 Guided Practice

Free, Paid

Model moving the cursor back to replay a section to answer a question or reflect on the think aloud.

Think aloud about how the process allows you to move at your pace and rewatch when needed.

Think aloud connecting your interactions with the content back to the essential question.

4 Independent Practice

Students independently view the EDpuzzle video, answering questions and reflecting on the think alouds embedded in the video, as well as connecting their interactions back to the essential question and building background knowledge.

Students are working at their own pace, reviewing and modifying answers where needed, including rewatching portions of the video to clarify or deepen understandings.

5 Check for Understanding

Teacher will view student responses to questions on EDpuzzle to check for understanding. 

6 Direct Instruction

Teacher will introduce students to Padlet as a format for reading and interacting with a piece of text and leaving a response to share with the class.

The Padlet allows students to contribute to the collective class knowledge and can be referred to in the future as needed.

Teacher will show students a completed Padlet with student interactions on stickies.


7 Guided Practice

Teacher models the use of Padlet to read text and "code" the text by recording interactions with the text on Padlet stickies and formulate a "research question" for further study.

i.e.- I never knew a shooting star was a meteor burning up! I wonder how this happens.

i.e. - The text said the mesosphere is about -90 degrees C. Why do meteors burn up in the mesosphere if it's one of the coldest layers of the atmosphere?

Teacher models choosing a student sticky response to agree or disagree with using evidence based language.

i.e.- I wondered the same thing as you Jose. How can cold temperatures make something burn up? I'm going to list that as a question to research.

8 Independent Practice

Students independently read their assigned section of text on a layer of the atmosphere, "coding" the text with text responses/interactions on the Padlet stickies.

Students also choose a student response under their assigned atmosphere layer to comment on - agree, disagree.

Students choose a "research question" from their assigned content to do further research on the following day.

Students have access to all text on the layers of the atmosphere so they may read about another layer when they are done.

9 Formative Assessment

Students will log onto the Pear Deck Formative Assessment and answer questions about the earth's atmosphere aligned with the essential questions.

The teacher will use the information gathered in Pear Deck to plan further instruction and guide any re-teaching or small group instruction necessary.

10 Wrap Up

Pear Deck
Free, Free to try, Paid
Free, Free to try, Paid

Review answers to Pear Deck in whole class format. 

Students share their chosen "research question" for further investigation in a turn and talk and defend why the research is important to deepening their understanding of the layers of the atmosphere.

Have students reflect on tools utilized during the lesson and how the tools helped them deepen understandings related to the objectives. Students respond in Padlet.