EARTH ATMOSPHERE LAYERS LESSON
Print the Layers of the Atmosphere reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the passage
silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as
part of a classroom lesson plan.
The atmosphere is a layer of gases around Earth. It is held in place by Earth's gravity. We usually call it air. The atmosphere is made up of about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. There is also some water vapor, a little carbon dioxide, and some other gases in very small amounts. Our atmosphere protects us by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. The atmosphere also helps us by reducing temperature increases or decreases between day and night. Without the atmosphere, there could not be any life on Earth. People and animals need oxygen to breathe. Plants need carbon dioxide to do photosynthesis.
The gases in the atmosphere are thicker or denser closest to the ground. The higher up you go, the thinner the atmosphere becomes. There is no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space. The gases slowly become thinner and drift into space. As you move up through the atmosphere, it changes. It is made up of several layers.
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