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Lesson Overview
  • 15 Minutes
  • 5, 8
  • 3rd - 12th Grade
  • State Standards:
    NGSS: 5-LS2-1, 4-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-1, HS-ESS2-1 Math: NF.3.1

Download PDF

Download PDF (Spanish)

Materials List
  • World map
  • One apple
  • Knife
  • Online worksheets
  • Photos
  • Diary entry reading material

Earth as an Apple & Soil Conservation

Categories: Social Studies , Spanish , Agriculture , Soils

Students learn about the small fraction of the planet available for growing food and ways this precious area can be protected. This two-part lesson is an excellent way to introduce students to the importance of preserving soil and soil’s role in feeding 7+ billion people.


  • Begin the demonstration by first cutting the apple in half lengthwise, then half again. Ask students as you go what the fractions are as you progress though the activity.
  • Once the apple is cut into fourths, set three of the four pieces to the side (3/4th) and explain they
  • represent the bodies of water on the planet. This includes oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers. The remaining 1/4th represents the land area on the planet.
  • Have students fill in the worksheet (attached) as you explain the land resources of the Earth.
  • Cut the 1/4 land piece in half so you have two 1/8th sections. One of these pieces represent land on the planet that is not suitable for producing food or for human habitation. This includes deserts, swamps, high mountainous regions, the Arctic and the Antarctic.
  • The other 1/8 piece represents land suitable for humans live.

For full instructions, please download our PDF