A Lesson in Gobstoppers

Gobstoppers to teach science, what a concept! The entire class is given a gobstopper to suck and told that they are sucking away the layers of the planet. The first layer is the earths crust, easily recognized as gone from the gobstopper when the outer color of the blue planet is breached and the students have revealed the outer mantle. This layer is thicker than the earths crust and represented by a change in color which changes again when the student reaches the inner mantle.

At this stage the students have learnt the three outer layers of the planet and are associating this experience with sucking on candy. The lesson is appealing to the tactile, auditory and visual learners in the class which means every student is getting this in the learning style that suits their character, and the geology lesson isn’t over yet. The students now reach the outer core, again represented by a change in color, the gobstopper globe is now approximately half the size it was when it was whole and the texture of the core is softer than the mantle.

As the student sucks nearer to the center the globe will continue to become softer and change in color and soon students will come to the inner core of the globe and their gobstopper. Here the texture of the gobstopper and the earth globe becomes soft and malleable. In the earth globe that is because the temperature has risen to 10,000 degrees Celsius. In the gobstopper it is simply because the delicious gummy center, and the end of the lesson, has been reached. Who is the first student in the class that can say what this inner core is made of and why it is softer and hotter than the outer core?

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