Grade 5Science

Focus: This unit allows students to investigate a model to comprehend the complexity of the many parts of the Earth. Students learn about and explore the four “spheres” that comprise all the physical and biological factors of Earth. After defining each sphere, the unit then addresses the interactions of these spheres. In this way, students have a model that simplifies the planet we live on

These are the four spheres that make up the model of our Earth:

  • Hydrosphere is all the water below, on, and above Earth’s surface;
  • Geosphere is all the rocks, minerals, and associated physical aspects of Earth’s structure
  • Atmosphere is the air above us, including all its gasses, wind, weather, and zones
  • Biosphere is all the living things on Earth

Once the model of these spheres is developed, students see how each sphere interacts with the other. Understanding the Earth means to understand these interacting spheres in a way that can bring clarity to a complex natural world. In addition, students study the engineering design that is the basis of our possible habitation of other planets.

Number of Lessons: 12

Lesson Time: 30–45 minutes daily. Each lesson may be divided into shorter segments.

Please note that certain lessons in this unit are designed for multiple days, resulting in approximately 18 days of instruction. For more information, please refer to the recommended Pacing Guide within the Teacher Guide.


Additional Search Terms:

atmosphere • hydrosphere • geosphere • biosphere • water cycle • reservoir • groundwater • rock cycle • air mass • air pressure • biome • biodiversity • species • erosion • weathering • aquifer • rain shadow • soil • nonfiction • informational text


CKSci Grade Levels: CKSci units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the K–5 Core Knowledge Science Sequence.

  • Complete the following and gain access to all of our free resources.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Individual Resources

Need help downloading resources?

Read our troubleshooting guide for support or contact us with your questions.