California 5th Grade Standards Addressed in this Tutorial:
The Earth has four major systems, the geosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere. All together, these four systems make an integrated system, meaning they all interact with and impact each other. Through their interactions, the systems can make changes to the Earth's surface materials and process, and can impact the lives of the organisms that live on Earth.
Click the link above to read a little more about the Earth's systems and how they work together. Also watch the quick embedded video on the page.
Along the top of the page, you will see links to each of the spheres, you may click them to read more about any of the spheres that interest you (but it is not required).
*Note: This source will also mention the Cryosphere. This is a subset of the HydroSphere.
Source: "About the Earth as a System". (n.d.). My NASA Data.
"Making North America" Interactive Map
These interactive activities will illustrate some of the ways that the Earth's systems influence each other. Just remember the four major spheres in these cases: when the activity mentions water, when it mentions land/rocks/etc., when it mentions the air/gas, or when it mentions living things on Earth. You should know which spheres those correspond to! This activity will also show you some of the ways that scientists study these concepts (and others) in the field.
Source: "Making North America". (n.d.). PBS.
Explain what a system is. Use at least two of the Earth's major systems and explain an interaction between them to help illustrate your answer.
Potential Student Response:
A system is a group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent parts that work together to form a complex whole. The Earth has four major systems that comprise the integrated Earth system, meaning all four systems work together and effect each other. An example of two of the Earth's systems working together is the hydrosphere and biosphere. The hydrosphere provides the water to sustain the living things within the biosphere such as plants and animals.