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Created by Doug Taylor, 2011

washoesip.org

magma: melted rock
below the surface of
the earth
lava: melted rock
above the surface of
the earth
Grade 4 Reading
The earth is made up of several layers. Read the passage to learn more about them. Then answer
questions 1 through 7.
The Layers of the Earth
by Doug Taylor
If you were able to cut the earth in half you would see that
it is not the same all the way through. The inside of the
earth is made of several layers. Some of the layers are
solid and some are liquid. Most of these layers are very
hot.
The center of the earth is called the inner core. Scientists think this part of the core is solid. It is
probably made of metals like nickel and iron. The inner core is very hot. This deep inside the
earth there is a lot of pressure. The pressure keeps the metals solid even though they are very hot.
Scientists think the temperature in the core is about 7,200 degrees!
Just past the inner core is the outer core. It is probably also made
of metals. The metals of the outer core are melted into liquid. This
layer is almost as hot as the inner core. The metals are able to melt
in this layer because there is not as much pressure. The inner core
and outer core together are about 3,400 kilometers thick!
The next layer is called the mantle. The mantle is made of melted
rocks called magma. The magma is a thick liquid. It flows like
putty in most places. When magma erupts to the surface of the
earth, it is called lava. The mantle is very thick and very hot.
Scientists think the temperature of the mantle is about 5,400
degrees. The mantle is about 2,800 kilometers thick!
The top layer of the earth is called the crust. The crust is mostly made of solids. Most humans
spend their entire lives on the earths crust. No human has ever been below the crust. The crust is
mostly made of rock. It is about 30 kilometers thick. The crust is thinner at the bottom of the
oceans. It is thicker at the top of mountains. Volcanoes happen when magma from the mantle
breaks through to the crust.
Some people like to compare the layers of the earth with the layers of a boiled
egg. The top layer of the earth is a thin crust like the eggs shell. Beneath the
crust of the earth is the mantle, which is like the white part of the boiled egg.
Finally, below the earths mantle is the core, which is the yellow yolk at the
center of the egg.


Created by Doug Taylor, 2011
washoesip.org

Grade 4 Reading
Answer the following questions from the passage The Layers of the Earth.
1 Which pair of homophones correctly
completes the sentence?

Scientists can _____ that the crust
is thinner underneath the _____.

A see, sea
B sea, see
C seize, seas
D sees, sea

4 Which of the following is an example
of a simile?

A The crust is thinner at the bottom of
the oceans.
B The top layer of the earth is a thin
crust like an eggs shell.
C The magma groaned with effort as it
pushed through the earths crust.
D Below the mantle is the core, which
is the yellow yolk at the center of
the egg.

2 What words best describe the mantle?

A metal, hot, solid
B thin, rocky, mountains
C volcanoes, lava, magma
D melted, putty, liquid

5 Which of these statements are best
supported by the passage?

A the crust is the thickest layer of the
earth
B the mantle is the hottest layer of the
earth
C the crust is the thinnest layer of the
earth
D the inner core is the only solid layer
of the earth

3 Which question is most important to the
main idea of the passage?

A What is the inside of the earth made
of?
B Can humans reach the earths core?
C What are the layers of the earth?
D How do volcanoes happen?

6 According to the passage what would
most likely happen if magma from
earths mantle pushed through to the
surface of the earth?

A a thunderstorm
B an earthquake
C a flood
D a volcano


Created by Doug Taylor, 2011
washoesip.org

Grade 4 Reading



7
A What is the main idea of the last paragraph?

B How does this paragraphs main idea support the main idea of the passage?
Use details from the passage to support your response.



















Write your answer to Question 7 on a separate piece of paper. Be sure to answer
Parts A and B
Created by Doug Taylor, 2011
washoesip.org

Grade 4 Reading

Answers for the passage The Layers of the Earth.
Question Answer Skill NSS CCSS
1 A Vocabulary Development 1.4.4 L.4.1
2 D Supporting Details 4.4.3 RI.4.1
RI.4.2
3 C Main Idea/ Theme 4.4.3 RI.4.2
4 B Language 4.4.2 L.4.5
RL.4.5
5 C Main Idea/ Theme 4.4.3 RI.4.2
6 D Cause & Effect 4.4.3 RI.4.5
7
CR: A correct response should
identify the main idea of the last
paragraph as comparing the earth
with a boiled egg. This supports
the main idea of the passage by
helping the reader to see what the
inside of the earth might look like.
Main Idea/ Theme 4.4.3 RI.4.2

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
L.4.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage
when writing or speaking: a. Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and
relative adverbs (where, when, why); b. Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was
walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses; c. Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can,
may, must) to convey various conditions; d. Order adjectives within sentences according
to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag); e. Form and
use prepositional phrases; f. Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting
inappropriate fragments and run-ons; g. Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to,
too, two; there, their).
L.4.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances
in word meanings: a. Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as
pretty as a picture) in context; b. Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms,
adages, and proverbs; c. Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their
opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).
RI.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says
explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
RI.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details;
summarize the text.
RI.4.5 Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect,
problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
RL.4.5 Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the
structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of
characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking
about a text.