Earth’s Crust Facts

The Earth’s crust is the outermost layer of the Earth, and it’s where we live.

It’s made up of a few different types of rock. It’s really thin compared to the other layers of the earth.

The crust is divided into two main types:

  • Continental Crust – made up of light-colored rocks like granite
  • Oceanic Crust – made up of dark rocks like basalt

The continental crust is made up of light-colored rocks like granite, and the oceanic crust is made up of dark rocks like basalt.

The crust is super important because it helps support life on Earth and also helps keep the Earth’s temperature stable.

One brilliant thing is it also helps protect us from things like volcanoes and earthquakes. Overall, the crust is a really important part of the Earth!

Earth’s Crust Facts for Kids

  • The Earth’s crust is the outermost layer where we live.
  • It is made of different types of rock, like granite and basalt.
  • The crust is divided into two types: continental and oceanic.
  • It is really thin compared to the rest of the Earth.
  • The crust supports life and helps keep the Earth’s temp stable.
  • It can be affected by earthquakes and volcanoes.
Continental CrustOceanic Crust
CompositionGranite and other lighter rocksBasalt and other heavier rocks
StructureThick and less denseThin and denser
Depth below Earth’s surfaceVaries, but generally less than 30 kilometersVaries, but generally less than 10 kilometers

Continental Crusts

The Continental crust is the outermost layer of the Earth that makes up the
continents.

It is thicker and less dense than the other layer of the Earth, called the
mantle.

The crust is super important and made from rocks that are rich in minerals.It has rocks like quartz and feldspar. It’s also home to plants and animals on
the surface of the Earth, including us humans.

It is constantly changing and, over time, shaping the Earth’s surface with
erosion and plate tectonics.

For example, when two pieces of continental crust collide, they can form
mountains.

Oceanic Crust

The oceanic crust is the layer of the Earth’s surface that covers the ocean floors.
It is made up of solid rock, and it is much thinner and denser than the crust that covers the continents.

So, unlike the continental crust, which is mostly made up of lighter, less dense rocks like granite, the oceanic crust is mostly made up of heavier, denser rocks like basalt.

This makes it sink deeper into the Earth’s mantle, which is the layer beneath the crust.

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What exactly is Earth’s crust?

The Earth’s crust is the outermost layer of the Earth’s surface.

It is made from solid rock, and it is the thinnest layer of the Earth compared to the mantle and core.

The crust is what we live on, and it is where we find the land, oceans, and mountains.

It is also home to so many wonderful plants and animals, and not forgetting us humans.

The crust is always changing, with some parts of it moving and shifting over time.
This movement can cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Types of Rocks that Make up the Crust

Some of the most common types of rocks found on the crust include:

Igneous rocks

These are rocks that form from molten magma or lava. Examples include granite and basalt.

Sedimentary rocks

These are rocks that form from the accumulation of sediments, such as sand, mud, and pebbles. Examples include sandstone and limestone.

Metamorphic rocks

These are rocks that have been changed by heat, pressure, or chemical reactions. Examples include marble and slate.

How Does the Crust Affect the Earth’s Climate and Weather

How the Crust Affects Climate and WeatherHow the Crust Supports Life on Earth
Movement of tectonic platesCauses earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which can affect the Earth’s climate and weatherProvides a stable surface for plants and animals to live on
Composition and structureThe type and amount of rocks on the crust can affect the Earth’s temperature and weather patternsProvides a source of nutrients and minerals for plants and animals to grow and thrive
Water and air on the surfaceThe presence of water and air on the surface of the crust can affect the Earth’s climate and weatherProvides a source of water and air for plants and animals to survive

The movement of the tectonic plates, the composition and structure of the rocks on the crust, and the presence of water and air on the surface all have an impact on the Earth’s climate and weather.

The crust also provides a really important stable surface for plants and animals to live on, as well as a source of nutrients and minerals that are essential for their growth and survival.

The crust is a super important part of the Earth, and it helps to make our planet a unique and brilliant place to live.

The lithosphere

The lithosphere is the outermost layer of the Earth, and it is made up of the crust and the uppermost part of the mantle. It is the solid part of the Earth, and it is the layer that we live on.

The lithosphere is broken up into several large pieces called tectonic plates, which are constantly moving and shifting over time. This movement can cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Overall, the lithosphere is an important part of the Earth, and it helps to make our planet a unique and interesting place to live.

The lithosphere is divided into pieces called tectonic plates. You can think of tectonic plates as giant rocks that “float” across the lower part of the mantle.

So, sometimes plates move; they can bump into each other and even slip under each other. This is how earthquakes happen, and over time this movement has changed the landscape.

There are about 10-20 crustal plates on the Earth, and they all move at different speeds. The Eurasian plate is the slowest, and it moves less than an inch each year. The fastest plate is the Cocos plate, which moves about 8 inches per year.

Even though a few inches of movement in a whole year doesn’t sound like very much, the movement of the plates is a big deal!

When plate move, this can cause natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes.