SC.6.E.7.9

Describe how the composition and structure of the atmosphere protects life and insulates the planet.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 6
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
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

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)
2002200: M/J STEM Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2001025: M/J STEM Astronomy and Space 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.Pa.4: Recognize that air covers Earth (atmosphere).
SC.6.E.7.In.9: Identify that the atmosphere protects Earth from radiation from the Sun and regulates the temperature.
SC.6.E.7.Su.9: Recognize that the air that surrounds Earth (atmosphere) protects living things from the intense heat of the Sun.

Related Resources

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

Lesson Plans

Atmospheric Layers:

In this 5E lesson, students will model the layers of the atmosphere through an interactive lab that looks at characteristics of the atmosphere by analyzing the atmospheric temperature profile and the special features that can be found in each layer. Students will look at the different layers of the atmosphere to determine how the atmosphere helps sustain life on Earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

Amazing Insulating Atmosphere:

In this Engineering Design Challenge, students will design a terrarium and then monitor the levels of water, gases, and temperature in the environment. The factor being changed will be the layers of plastic wrap covering the terrarium. Students will examine how the thickness of the atmosphere affects the health of the plants in the terrarium. Students will conduct research, work in teams, and then finally create a presentation to the class sharing their findings.

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

Troposphere vs. Stratosphere :

This lesson uses a variety of activities, such as a KWL, Venn diagram, brochure, and comic strip, to address the troposphere and stratosphere. Students investigate the composition of these layers and their relationship to the insulation of earth and the protection of life on earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

Atmospheric Composition:

In this lesson, students will explore the four structural layers of the atmosphere and the gaseous compositional make-up of Earth's atmosphere. The lesson is introduced with prior knowledge review and activation, presentation of the standard and learning objectives, and a small individual/group activity.

The focal point of this lesson centers around the transfer and summarization of content information from video and reading resources to Interactive Content Cards (ICCs). Students are to be provided source material (video, reading activity, dictionary resources, Power Point slides, etc.) and Interactive Content Cards. The lesson transitions to a series of demonstrations and activities. Students create and use the ICCs throughout the lesson. Students will have to formatively demonstrate the structural and compositional atmospheric content using these ICCs.

Finally, students will submit their ICCs Packet as the summative assessment, demonstrating the completion of the content objectives.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Layers of the Atmosphere, Guest Starring the Integers! :

Students will learn the functions and characteristics of the four main layers of Earth's atmosphere. They will also determine the thickness of each layer and display them to scale. Students will plot the layers' temperatures, noting the change in temperature from the bottom to the top on a number line.

Type: Lesson Plan

Our Atmosphere: How does it protect life and insulate the planet?:

In this lesson, students will define the composition, air pressure, and temperature of the atmosphere. They will identify and describe the structure of the atmosphere. By demonstrating the previous knowledge, students will then describe how the atmosphere protects life and insulates our planet.

Note: teachers using this lesson must have access to the Fusion Textbook in order to completely address the Explain portion of the 5E lesson model herein.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth's Blanket:

In this lesson, students will learn the layers of the atmosphere and key properties of each. The students will then investigate the greenhouse effect and will model how the atmosphere holds heat for the Earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

Make a Planet Simulation:

The students will use a computer simulation to collect data about how the atmosphere and water affect the temperature of a planet. Students will make observations and infer how the atmosphere insulates and protects life.

Type: Lesson Plan

Our Amazing Atmosphere:

In this lesson students will discover how the composition and structure of the atmosphere protects life and insulates the planet. Students will investigate the greenhouse effect in a series of inquiry-based labs and will attain knowledge through guiding questions. Students will learn about the composition and structure of the atmosphere by creating a flip book of the layers of the atmosphere using the jigsaw strategy. In the summative assessment, students will write an article describing how the layers of the atmosphere sustain life on our planet.

Type: Lesson Plan

See the Unseen:

The electromagnetic spectrum is everywhere and provides energy to us every day. Although we may not see it with the natural eye, we can see it with technology. The electromagnetic spectrum affects our lives in everything we do. Students get to study the effect of the spectrum on their technology and their interests in space, medicine, music, videos, the human body, and handheld mobile computer technology that is so important in their world.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Our Atmospheric Blanket:

Explore how our atmosphere both insulates our planet and protects life on Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

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

Kangaroos Have "Green" Farts:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers in Australia have found kangaroos to produce more acetate in their flatulence than methane. Cows and goats produce methane-heavy flatulence twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide, adding to the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Scientists are trying to use this research on kangaroo farts to discover a way to alter the amount of greenhouse gases in animal flatulence worldwide.

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

Tutorial

Greenhouse Effect:

This video will help the learners with their understanding of atmospheric composition and the greenhouse effect.

Type: Tutorial

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

See the Unseen:

The electromagnetic spectrum is everywhere and provides energy to us every day. Although we may not see it with the natural eye, we can see it with technology. The electromagnetic spectrum affects our lives in everything we do. Students get to study the effect of the spectrum on their technology and their interests in space, medicine, music, videos, the human body, and handheld mobile computer technology that is so important in their world.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Our Atmospheric Blanket:

Explore how our atmosphere both insulates our planet and protects life on Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorial

Our Atmospheric Blanket:

Explore how our atmosphere both insulates our planet and protects life on Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Tutorial

Greenhouse Effect:

This video will help the learners with their understanding of atmospheric composition and the greenhouse effect.

Type: Tutorial

Parent Resources

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