HS-ESS2-3: Cycling of Matter in the Earth's Interior 

Develop a model based on evidence of earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection. (Energy and Matter)

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on both a one-dimensional model of Earth, with radial layers determined by density, and a three-dimensional model, which is controlled by mantle convection and the resulting plate tectonics. Examples of evidence include maps of Earth’s three-dimensional structure obtained from seismic waves, records of the rate of change of Earth’s magnetic field (as constraints on convection in the outer core), and identification of the composition of Earth’s layers from high-pressure laboratory experiments.

Assessment Boundary: none


The following assessments were created by science teachers hoping to better understand the NGSS. In most cases teachers went from standard to assessment in around an hour.  These are drafts and should be used accordingly. Feel free to improve these assessments or contribute to the collection. Learn more about assessment design here.



Anchor Charts



Earth’s interior
Radial layers  (crust, mantle, liquid outer core, solid
inner core)
Mantle convection
Plate tectonics
Seismic waves
Magnetic field
Thermal energy
Radioactive decay
Energy and Matter

Learning Plans

*Next Generation Science Standards is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.  Visit the official NGSS website.