Earth’s Surface

A Science A–Z Earth Series
Word Count: 224


Written by Rhonda Lucas Donald



Key elements Used in This Book
The Big Idea: Earth’s surface is the part of our planet that we interact
with every day. The land is composed of rocks and soil. Water covers
about 70 percent of Earth’s surface. Much of that is salt water found
in oceans. Fresh water can be found in lakes, ponds, rivers, and
underground. Earth’s surface is shaped into various landforms by
gravity, wind, water, and the movements of Earth’s crust. Earth’s
surface provides everything needed for life to thrive, including
shelter, food, and water.
Key words: Earth, earthquake, fresh water, hill, lake, land, ocean, river, rock,
salt water, soil, surface, volcano
Key comprehension skill: Classify information
Other suitable reading strategies: Author’s purpose; compare and contrast;
elements of genre; identify facts; main idea and details; retell
Key reading strategy: Connect to prior knowledge
Other suitable reading strategies: Ask and answer questions; summarize;
Photo Credits:
Front cover: © Wilton; back cover: © Wheatley; title page:
© Bernd Schmidt/123RF; page 3: © Morgan Lane Photography/Alamy; page 4 (top): © Fancy Collection/
Superstock; page 4 (bottom): © Yeulet; page 5: courtesy NASA Goddard Space
Flight Center. Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon
(ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation); page 6 (top): © ARICI; page 6
(bottom): © Bill Grant/Alamy; page 7: ©; page 8 (top): © Modfos/;
page 8 (bottom): © Soutar; page 9 (top): © Penner; page
9 (bottom): ©; page 11: ©; page 12: ©
Pgiam; page 13 (top): ©; page 13 (bottom): © Diarmuid Toman/Alamy; page 14
(top): © Cristina Perez/123RF; page 14 (bottom): © Frans Lanting/National Geographic Stock; page 15 (top):
© Bernard; page 15 (bottom left): © Rafael Laguillo/123RF; page 15 (bottom right):
© Anna Omelchenko/; page 16: © Julien
Illustration Credits:
page 10: © Learning A–Z

Written by Rhonda Lucas Donald

Earth’s Surface
© Learning A–Z
Written by Rhonda Lucas Donald
All rights reserved.

You can run in the grass.
You can swim in a lake.

Earth is your home.
Earth’s surface is the part
where you live and play.




Look at Earth from space.
You can see land. You
can see a lot of water.

Most land is made of rocks.
But how can plants grow
in rocks?


Some land is flat.
Some land is pointed.

Plants grow in soil. Soil is
made of tiny rocks and
dead plants. It has water
in it, too.


Water moves around.
Clouds form over the
ocean. The clouds drop
rain or snow onto the land.
The water fills up rivers
and lakes. Rivers take
water back to the ocean.

What covers most of
Earth’s surface? Water!
Salt water fills the ocean.
Fresh water fills lakes
and rivers.

Water never stops moving!


a rockslide

Land may seem the same.
But it can change a lot.
Soil and rocks slide
down hills.

Wind turned this rock
into a cool shape!

Water and wind wear
rocks down. The land
slowly gets new shapes.


Earth is
home to
many living
things. Its
surface has
they need.

Sometimes land can
change quickly!

The surface
has water and food.
It is where animals live.

Earth’s surface has land
and water. It is always
Earth is home to people,
too. We drink fresh water.
We grow food in soil.

Earth’s surface gives
us everything we need.
It is our home!