When we were studying the layers of the atmosphere I came up with a series of lessons I wanted to share. These were a lot of fun and helped Mikah understand our atmosphere better. The first activity is a atmosphere layer cake. Each layer represents a layer of the atmosphere with the icing representing the divisions between each layer. It makes a mighty big cake so plan accordingly! If you want you could make the cake ahead of time before a co-op and then have the students label the layers with toothpick & sticker flags. Another hint would be to use white cake! I only had yellow, so my blue atmosphere layers are a tad green.
In place of a cake you could make layered Jello. We tried it out and it works great! It takes a bit of time but the finished product is worth it. Next, we made atmosphere spheres to reinforce the fact the layers are round spheres. The process and discussion as you form each layer are the important activities in this lesson, because the layers will not come out exact. For extra reinforcement we made atmosphere bracelets.