Layering Changes Earth Science and Art Lesson

By |2018-10-26T08:40:48+00:00February 1st, 2018|

Today’s free lesson sample is for grades 7-8 and connects earth science and visual art.  Students will be exploring earth’s layers with printmaking.  By connecting these areas, students begin to explore the ideas of changes over time and how different layers and textures contribute to a whole composition.



Looking for done-for-you lessons with powerpoints, student materials and assessments?  Be sure to check out the IntegratED Curriculum.  It’s a digital curriculum supplement that gives you everything you need for arts integration and STEAM without all the planning.



If you’d like to do this lesson, I highly recommend downloading this powerpoint on Layers of the Earth because it’s a great fundamental component for exploring this science concept.  It also comes with a student foldable for each of the earth’s layers.  You can then use this foldable to explore various textures.

Be sure to take some time view examples of printmaking and understand the various textures available.  These textures include things like

  • smooth
  • rough
  • hard
  • soft
  • woven
  • bumpy
  • jagged and
  • ridged


Then, have students identify the textures they would use for each of the earth’s layers.  Finally, give each student a piece of cardboard and several different textures to choose from.  In groups, students create a collaborative printmaking piece using their textured cardboard pieces.  Ultimately, the collaborative composition should reflect each of the earth’s layers that they identified earlier.



The essential question for this lesson is “how can we determine changes that happen over time?”, but there are a many others you could explore.  Things like:

• How does Earth change?
• How are Earth’s systems connected?
• Why should we recognize patterns that exist in our world?
• How do the processes that shape Earth affect our lives?
• How do artists work?
• What do we know about how Earth’s features are formed?
• How do artists formulate and interpret investigations with their work?
• How does artwork evolve?

So, enjoy this free lesson sample for your classroom!  Have you tried this lesson?  Let us know in the comments below how it went!






Susan Riley is the founder and President of She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.

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