The first layer we have to dig through is called the crust. It's what we're standing on right now. All the plants and grass grow on top of the crust and deeper down you'll find all sorts of cool rocks, fossils and precious stones like emeralds and rubies.*
Phew, now we're through the crust. Let me see those shovels because we're going to have to dig some more. Go on, let me see you dig.
Good, we're going to have to dig even more though because the next layer is called the mantle and it's the thickest. The mantle is 400 hundreds miles thick! Imagine if you got in a car and drove all the way to South Carolina**, has anyone ever been to South Carolina? It's a long ways away. Now imagine driving that far straight down. That's how thick the mantle is! So let's get out that shovel and keep digging...
YES! We got through the mantle! High five! But, uh-oh! The next layer of the earth is called the outer core and it's so hot down there that everything is liquid! It's like the molten lava that comes out of volcanoes but much much hotter. I hope you guys are wearing protective suits. You're not? Well, let's put them on now.
Suits on? Awesome. Okay, get out those shovels and keep digging. We have one layer left. Let's dig!
The last layer is called the inner core and it's even hotter than the out core! In fact, the inner core is as hot as the surface of the sun! Unlike the outer core, the inner core is completely solid because it's got everything else, the crust, the mantle and the outer core pressing in on it and making it all stick together. Like when you're playing with play dough and you pack it into a really tight, tiny ball with your hands.
Let's not stay here too long. I'm getting really hot. Now we could keep digging. And we'd go through the outer core and the mantle and the crust on the other side. But if we did that, do you know where we'd come out? Nope, not in China. We'd be in the middle of the Indian Ocean!*** I'm not that good of a swimmer though so let's go back the way we came.
What's this layer called? And this one? And this one? The last one? Good job, you guys, we traveled all the way to the center of the earth and back again! And now that we're back here on the surface, the crust, let's sing a song.
* You can use any facts that you want when talking about the different layers of the earth. This one is aimed at the interest/attention span of toddler and preschool. If I was going to take it to outreach, I'd get a little more technical.
** Northern South Carolina is about 400 miles from us and a lot of our kids have family in North and South Carolina. So pick whatever works for you to convey a very long distance. Driving for 6.5 hours would also work. Assuming an average speed of 60 mph.
*** There are some cool google map hacks that let you type in your zip code and then see where you'd pop out if you could dig a hole through the middle of the earth. But everywhere in continental North America puts you somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Alaska and Hawaii are more interesting.
Flannel Friday: Dig Into Summer Reading special edition is hosted today by Lisa at Libraryland and as always you can get more information about Flannel Friday at the official website.