X.E. Ecology’s Earth Model


To learn what’s under the Earth's surface and to discover that Earth has an inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust.


  • Play doh® or modeling clay-four or five colors  (blue, green, black, yellow, orange, red)  might offer the most realistic looks but any can do)
  • Plastic knife or craft stick


Make a small ball of red dough. This represents the inner core. Next take another color of modeling clay (orange) and form the outer core around the inner core. Now use yellow clay to form a ball around the inner and outer core. This is the mantle. Next brown or black can then represent the crust and goes around the mantle. Want to make it more “earthy?” Use blue and green to represent land and water to decorate the outside of your Earth model. 


The inner core is the deepest and hottest layer of the Earth. It is made almost entirely of metal—mostly iron and, while extremely hot (9,000-13,000 degrees Fahrenheit--or 5,000-7,000 C), it is solid. It’s almost 750 miles thick! Next the outer core is made mostly of iron and nickel. The outer core is approximately 1,430 miles thick. The alloy of the outer core is also very hot. The third level is the mantle, a gooey, hot layer of magma and other semi-solid rocks and minerals. Movement in the mantle leads to tectonic activity, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, on the crust. All known life exists on the solid outer layer, called the crust. About 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water.