March 30, 2016

Earth Rounds: What Fraction of the Earth Can Support Life?

What fraction of our planet can support life? Create edible Earth Rounds to find out!
Sometimes kids think Earth has unlimited resources and they don't realize that only a small part of our planet is habitable. Edible Earth Rounds is a tasty activity you can use to demonstrate this concept, and it's a great way to sneak in a fraction lesson, too! Each student will use half an English muffin or sandwich round to create a model of the earth. They'll use jelly to represent the part of our Earth covered with water, peanut butter or almond butter for the land, and other food items to represent the uninhabitable and habitable parts of the land. Check out the photos below for a quick overview of what's involved.

When you introduce the activity, you might want to spend a few minutes discussing the terms "habitable," "inhabitable," and "uninhabitable." Did you know that "habitable" and "inhabitable" are actually synonyms? Usually the prefix "in" means "not," but apparently "inhabitable" is the exception to that rule. Therefore, the only form that means "not able to be inhabited" is "uninhabitable." Are you confused yet? :-)

Edible Earth Rounds is one of the many lessons in my  April Activities pack. This activity is perfect for Earth Day (April 22nd) or any time of the year as an environmental science lesson. Most kids are surprised that only 1/8 of the earth can support life, so it's an eye-opening experience that helps them understand the importance of conserving our natural resources. 

This activity comes with full teacher directions, a materials-request letter to send home to parents, and a student printable to guide the lesson. There's also a copy of the student example shown below that you can use as an answer key. If you'd like a closer look at what's inside, click HERE to download a PDF preview that shows every page in the April pack. In addition to this activity, you'll find a lesson for National Book Week, National Jelly Bean Day, Poetry Month, and more!
What fraction of our planet is habitable? Create edible Earth Rounds to find out!
What fraction of our planet is habitable? Create edible Earth Rounds to find out!
What fraction of our planet is habitable? Create edible Earth Rounds to find out!

By the way, these photos were taken by my daughter Amy who is a freelance photographer. I think she did a terrific job capturing before and after images of the Edible Earth Rounds activity. If you'd like to see more of her work, check out Amy Candler Photography at


  1. I love activities like these. Students love to eat so much - and if you can combine it with learning, it's a huge win :-) I have an Elapsed Time lesson on What's Cooking with Kids where they practice the concepts with food and cooking related task cards and then practice their skills by making a pancake recipe! They adore it :-) I just shared to my FB page!

  2. This activity is great because it ties in fractions, science, and Earth Day! As well as incorporating food which all students will enjoy. This lesson is hand on, fun, and something all students can learn from. I really like how this could teach students about equivalent fractions such as 2/8 = 1/4, as well as teaching students that 2/8 + 3/4 = 1 whole. This is definitely an activity I will keep in mind! Thanks for sharing :)


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