SC.6.E.7.4

Differentiate and show interactions among the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 6
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: Earth Systems and Patterns - The scientific theory of the evolution of Earth states that changes in our planet are driven by the flow of energy and the cycling of matter through dynamic interactions among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere, and the resources used to sustain human civilization on Earth.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • Also Assesses
    SC.6.E.7.2 Investigate and apply how the cycling of water between the atmosphere and hydrosphere has an effect on weather patterns and climate.

    SC.6.E.7.3 Describe how global patterns such as the jet stream and ocean currents influence local weather in measurable terms such as temperature, air pressure, wind direction and speed, and humidity and precipitation.

    SC.6.E.7.6 Differentiate between weather and climate.

    SC.6.E.7.9 Describe how the composition and structure of the atmosphere protects life and insulates the planet.

  • Clarification :
    Students will differentiate and/or explain interactions among the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.

    Students will describe and/or explain how the cycling of water and global patterns influence local weather and climate.

    Students will differentiate between weather and climate.

    Students will describe the composition and structure of the atmosphere and/or how the atmosphere protects life and insulates the planet.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will not assess atmospheres of planets other than Earth.

    Items may assess atmospheric conditions and their resulting weather phenomena, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, fronts, and precipitation.

    Items will not address auroras.

    Items will not assess the causes of global warming or the ozone hole but may assess their effects.

    Items may assess the layers of the atmosphere and/or the function of each.

    Items should not assess the water cycle in isolation.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Items assessing the jet stream, the Gulf Stream, or other winds and/or currents must include a map showing these patterns.

    Temperature should be shown in degrees Celsius followed by the equivalent degrees Fahrenheit temperature in parentheses.
  • Response Attributes :
    Temperature should be shown in degrees Celsius followed by the equivalent degrees Fahrenheit temperature in parentheses.
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.5.E.7.1, SC.5.E.7.2, SC.5.E.7.3, SC.5.E.7.4, SC.5.E.7.5, and SC.5.E.7.6.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: The climate of an area can be different from its weather. Which of the following statements describes the climate of an area?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002040: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002050: M/J Comprehensive Science 1, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2001010: M/J Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2001020: M/J Earth/Space Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7820015: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002055: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7920035: Fundamental Integrated Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
2002200: M/J STEM Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.6.E.7.In.4: Recognize that Earth consists of different parts, including air that is over the Earth (atmosphere), water that covers much of the Earth (hydrosphere), and the parts that support all living things on Earth (biosphere).
SC.6.E.7.Su.4: Recognize where living things are found (biosphere) and where the air is found (atmosphere) on Earth.
SC.6.E.7.Pa.4: Recognize that air covers Earth (atmosphere).

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Earth's Spheres WebQuest:

This WebQuest is designed for 6th grade students. Students will work individually or in pairs to explore interactive websites and answer the questions on their Task Sheet. This is designed as an introduction to Earth's spheres (Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Biosphere, Geosphere) and how these spheres interact to support life on our planet.

Type: Lesson Plan

Journey Through the Spheres of the Earth:

The student will investigate Earth's five spheres through a hands-on activity in which they collect data and construct explanations through a lab simulating how interactions occur on the planet from one sphere to another. Students will discuss picture examples of the five Spheres, collect data to generate their own bar graph, and experience interactions between the five Spheres on Earth. Students will be able to identify and differentiate impacts and interactions between the Biosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, Cryosphere, and Atmosphere.

Type: Lesson Plan

Spheres of Influence: Interactions of Earth's Spheres and Their Effect on Ocean Currents:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text, maps, and data tables intended to support reading in the content area. The article, "Climate Change Could Stall Atlantic Ocean Current" explains how interactions between Earth's spheres can have a global impact on ocean currents, climate, and weather. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bottle Earth:

Students will learn about Earth's five spheres (geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere) and how they interact with one another. First, they will watch two short videos. Then, they will create a graphic organizer while viewing a PowerPoint presentation. Finally, in small groups, they will create a closed terrarium (in a bottle) to represent the biosphere of the Earth. They will investigate how ecological systems achieve balance over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis Grade 6:

The changing climate is an important topic for both scientific analysis and worldly knowledge. This lesson uses data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create and use statistical analysis as a tool to evaluate the mean and variation from the mean of sea ice loss.

Type: Lesson Plan

Movement of Water Between Two Spheres:

Students will use words and pictures to explore the water cycle, focusing on the movement of water from the hydrosphere to the atmosphere and back again.

Type: Lesson Plan

I Will Not Fear My Earth Sphere:

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the earth's spheres by creating a travel brochure, highlighting each sphere at a destination of their choice.

Note: This lesson only addresses the first part of the standard; students will need to study sphere interactions in another lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Interactions Among the Spheres!:

The lesson uses several activities to teach students about Earth's spheres. Some of the activities are:

  • A Four Corners (5 spheres) game that gives students the opportunity to move in class.
  • Making vocabulary cards with illustrations.
  • Visual tools to help students comprehend the differences between Earth's spheres.
  • A PowerPoint to challenges students to make every day life connections to the each sphere.

Type: Lesson Plan

The World of Sphere Interactions:

In this activity, students will gain an understanding of the Earth's spheres and how they interact with each other. After a discussion of the Earth's spheres (atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere), students will complete an exploration activity which consists of a colorful drawing of a specific environment and identifying the spheres, the make-up of each sphere and how the spheres interact to maintain a stable system. Students will present their drawings to the class, with an opportunity for other students to ask questions and identify possible missing or incorrect information, and students will be allowed to make any needed corrections to their drawing. The students will then create a 3D model of an environment that illustrates their understanding of Earth's spheres and how they interact with each other to maintain a stable environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Earth's Spheres Play Nicely Together:

This lesson plan will guide middle-grade students from understanding Earth's spheres to understanding how these spheres interact with each other. This topic will also address how different events, both naturally occurring and as a result of human impact, can affect one or more sphere.

Type: Lesson Plan

Interactions Between Spheres of the Earth:

In this lesson, students will review the spheres of the earth and learn how these spheres interact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth Systems Interactions:

A two-day lesson plan in which students differentiate and show interactions among the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.

Type: Lesson Plan

Convection Currents:

Students observe a demonstration, read an article, answer questions, and make a drawing to further their understanding of deep ocean convection currents.

Type: Lesson Plan

Interacting with Spheres:

In this lesson, students will look at images and discuss how the spheres are interacting. They will then read an article, again identifying sphere interactions. Students will complete a thinking map or a constructed response as assessments.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Floridan Aquifer:

This is a two-day lesson that addresses the correlation between the annual rainfall and the human impact upon the Florida aquifer.

Type: Lesson Plan

Playing on Thin Ice:

In this lesson, students will investigate the difference between melting land ice and melting sea ice as it relates to sea level rise. After guided exploration of Florida's coastline and sea level rise, students will write a letter to local government expressing concern for sea level rise and its impact on Florida's coastline.

Type: Lesson Plan

Changing Albedo in Antarctica:

This lesson is an interactive puzzle activity utilizing albedo to explore interactions of the 5 spheres in Antarctica.

Type: Lesson Plan

Spheres all around us!:

In this lesson, the students will learn about the five spheres of the Earth and how they interact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Keep Your Cool, Florida:

Students will apply the concepts of heat and temperature to a familiar scenario of a parked car heating in the sun. They will predict, observe and explain the temperature data collected by University of Georgia researchers. Students will compare and contrast heat flow in polar and tropical climates. They will identify examples of conduction, convection and radiation. They will discuss how heat flow management is necessary for survival. They will make observations of animal behavior from a video clip and make inferences from those observations. They will read a non-fiction article and cite evidence from it.

Type: Lesson Plan

Story of Interactions between Earth's Spheres:

From the standpoint of an organism (biosphere), the students will describe interactions between that organism and the other spheres by creating a storybook including written descriptions and illustrations.

Type: Lesson Plan

An Inquiry into Albedo, Land Surface and AirTemperture:

This lesson is designed to provide a hands on inquiry on Sphere Interactions by investigating the relationship between Surface Albedo and Atmospheric Temperature. In this activity, students will develop an Argument Driven Inquiry (ADI) with the Guiding question: "What is the relationship between the land surface Albedo and Atmospheric Temperature?"

Type: Lesson Plan

You've been interacting with...WHO??!!:

Students will learn how Earth's spheres interact with each other and how we as humans play apart in that interaction.

Type: Lesson Plan

Water Cycle and Earth's Spheres:

In this lesson, students will learn about Earth's spheres using the water cycle. The students will link each of the spheres with a part of the water cycle and have an opportunity to create a cartoon showing what they know.

Type: Lesson Plan

When Spheres Collide:

In this lesson, students will do various cooperative group and solo activities that will enable them to know what Earth's spheres are and how they interact with one another.

Type: Lesson Plan

Name That Sphere!:

In this lesson, students will work towards a better understanding of the Earth's systems (geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere) and how they interact with each other. With the use of class discussions and a cooperative carousel activity, students will be able to then create and explain a diagram showing these interactions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth's Awesome Spheres and Amazing Interactions:

In this activity students will explore the Earth's spheres and how they interact through various activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

No Fear of Earth's Spheres:

In this lesson, students will explore Earth's systems and how they interact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Spheres Interact:

In this 6th grade lesson, students will work cooperatively in teams to review Earth's spheres and identify interactions among the spheres (hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and cryosphere). The activities are designed to create a challenge for students to think creatively about the parts and processes of the Earth system.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth's Sphere's Poster:

The students will learn the Earth's systems, and how they interact by completing an individual foldable and a group poster. The included PowerPoint contains: bell ringer, video on how to make a foldable, power point with definitions and sample pictures for each of Earth's spheres, an exit ticket, sample project and a rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Global Climate Change and Sea Level Rise:

In this activity, students will practice the steps involved in a scientific investigation as they learn why ice formations on land (and not those on water) will cause a rise in sea level upon melting. This is a discovery lesson in ice and water density and displacement of water by ice floating on the surface as it relates to global climate change.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hydrosphere vs Lithosphere - Globe Toss Activity:

In this lesson, students will randomly sample a model Earth (inflatable globe) in order to determine the percentage of Earth's surface covered with water.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Earth's Spheres:

Explore and compare the different spheres of the Earth system, including the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also identify specific examples of the interactions between the Earth's spheres.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Severe Weather and Water:

Michael Kozar talks about the influence land and water have on severe weather.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Studying Biogeochemical Cycles in the Ocean:

Dean Grubbs discusses biogeochemical cycles in the oceans and their impact.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Past Climate Change:

Angela Dial discusses the geologic and scientific evidence related to climate change in the past.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Earth's Past Climate:

Angela Dial talks about using ocean core proxy data to investigate Earth's climate from the past.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Bioaccumulation of Methylmercury in the Everglades:

Dr. Melodie Naja describes the link between agricultural pollutants and the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in the fresh surface waters of the Everglades.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Severe Weather Formation:

In a fog about weather patterns? This climatologist will demystify the topic for you.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Watershed:

Kent Koptiuch talks about watersheds and water quality.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Aquifers:

Kent Koptiuch talks about aquifers and the importance of water quality.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Presentation/Slideshow

Water Science for Schools:

This interactive site allows you to learn all about the water cycle. The site provides hydrology data, examples, pictures, definitions, and more in multiple languages.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Professional Development

A Sea Change:

This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their curriculum. This tutorial focuses on determining an author's purpose and point of view. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Professional Development

Text Resources

Climate Change Could Stall Atlantic Ocean Current:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes how climate change impacts ocean currents which, in turn, can affect the countries which lie along these currents. A description of a model is included to make a prediction of what will happen to the currents if climate change continues with increasing amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Type: Text Resource

For Already Vulnerable Penguins, Study Finds Climate Change Is Another Danger:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Survival for Magellanic penguins has always been a challenge due to predation and starvation, but the influence of climate change is now making survival even more difficult for them. The study cited in this article is one of the first to show a direct impact of climate change on the population of seabirds. Increased storm activity and warmer temperatures are two factors impacting penguin populations in Argentina.

Type: Text Resource

Weather/ Whiz Kids/ Climate:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The text covers many topics about weather and climate including the water cycle, seasons, greenhouse effect, and climate change.

Type: Text Resource

Changing Seas:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text explains how carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is changing the oceans. The text describes ocean acidification and ocean warming. The text gives examples of ecosystems that are changing as a result.

Type: Text Resource

Ice on the Move:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes scientists' views on glacial movement and global warming.

Type: Text Resource

Bacteria Living in 'Cloud Cities' May Control Rain and Snow Patterns:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes how ice crystals in clouds grow around tiny particles such as dust, pollen and even bacteria. Some bacteria contain proteins that cause freezing to occur at higher-than-normal temperatures, which may aid in snow production. In addition, a lack of vegetation on land may cause the "weather-gifted" bacteria to decline, which in turn would decrease rainfall (if in fact these bacteria are needed to "seed" clouds).

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animation

Earth from Orbit in 2012:

This video contains a collection of the best images of the Earth taken from space in 2012

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Earth's Spheres:

Explore and compare the different spheres of the Earth system, including the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also identify specific examples of the interactions between the Earth's spheres.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Earth's Spheres:

Explore and compare the different spheres of the Earth system, including the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also identify specific examples of the interactions between the Earth's spheres.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Expert

Severe Weather Formation:

In a fog about weather patterns? This climatologist will demystify the topic for you.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Presentation/Slideshow

Water Science for Schools:

This interactive site allows you to learn all about the water cycle. The site provides hydrology data, examples, pictures, definitions, and more in multiple languages.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Perspectives Video: Expert

Severe Weather Formation:

In a fog about weather patterns? This climatologist will demystify the topic for you.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Presentation/Slideshow

Water Science for Schools:

This interactive site allows you to learn all about the water cycle. The site provides hydrology data, examples, pictures, definitions, and more in multiple languages.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow