1st grade Science Unit: Earth’s Surface

In 1st-grade science, students explore Earth’s surface, rocks, minerals, and natural resources.
This scripted unit plan, from the creators of Little Science Thinkers, reveals the wonders of our planet, with engaging and easy-prep lessons that uncover Earth’s secrets. Let’s explore the main ideas of each lesson!

1st grade science unit


Lesson 1: Earth’s Surface
The unit begins with a fascinating overview of Earth’s surface. Students discover that Earth’s surface is made of many layers. They learn about the different materials that make up Earth’s crust.

Lesson 2: Rocks and Minerals
 In this lesson, students dive into the interesting world of rocks and minerals. They learn what rocks and minerals are, and how they are useful to us in our everyday lives.


Lesson 3: Rock Types
Building upon their knowledge of rocks, students delve into the concept of rock types. They explore the three main categories: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. They learn to differentiate between rock types, how they form, and how they change over time.

1st grade science rocks anchor chart

Lesson 4: Rock Exploration
In this exciting lesson, students become rock explorers. Armed with magnifying glasses and observation tools, they become scientists, sorting and classifying rocks based on their characteristics. Through hands-on experiences and observations, students examine rock samples, discovering their distinct characteristics and how they are formed through processes like cooling and pressure.

This rock kit from Amazon is perfect for this unit. It gives kids an up-close and personal view of the different types of rocks that they can sort into igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary groups.

rocks and minerals
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Lesson 5: Natural Resources
Students learn about the valuable resources Earth provides through the study of natural resources. They explore essential materials like water, air, and soil, understanding their importance in daily life.

Lesson 6: Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources
Building on their knowledge of natural resources, students delve deeper into the concept of renewable and nonrenewable resources. They discover that renewable resources, such as sunlight and wind, can be replenished over time, while nonrenewable resources, like fossil fuels, are finite.

natural resources anchor chart

Lesson 7: Soil
In this lesson, students explore the vital role of soil in supporting plant growth and sustaining life on Earth. They learn about the different components of soil.

Lesson 8: Soil Investigation
Students become soil detectives in this interactive lesson. Equipped with tools and magnifiers, they embark on a soil investigation to examine its composition.


Lesson 9: Caring for Our Resources & Composting
 Students discover the importance of caring for Earth’s resources and learn about the practice of composting to reduce waste and nourish the soil. They explore how composting transforms organic waste into nutrient-rich soil.

soil investigation

Lesson 10: Students participate in hands-on, engaging science stations to reinforce what they’ve learned during this unit.

Lesson 11 & 12: The class review and unit assessment monitors their understanding and helps them show all that they know about Earth’s Surface.

1st grade science Earth's Surface Unit

This unit contains scripted lesson plans, PowerPoints for each lesson, Nonfiction read-alouds, anchor charts, all activities, learning targets, and assessments. 

You can purchase this unit HERE or on Teachers Pay Teachers