Geologic History

Earth’s Geologic Timeline

Bringing Geologic Time Down to Scale – This lesson guides students to create a geologic timeline on nine pages of paper (8.5”x11”). Students will use math skills to calculate the correct length of the timeline for each geologic period based on the scale: 2.5 centimeters represents 50 million years (5 cm = 100MY). A geologic time chart is provided to assist students in calculating the length of the timeline needed for each time period. (HINT: The total length of the timeline will be 4600 million years, or 230 cm total.) (This lesson was designed by Miriam Sutton, Science by the Sea, and is adapted for middle and high school students.)

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Microfossils in Blake’s Nose – This activity allows students to access online data and generate graphs that illustrate distribution changes in marine microfossils preserved in ocean sediment cores. Students will retrieve data for several microfossils and generate a graph that illustrates the geologic period of time in which the organisms existed. After graphing the data, students will observe and compare their findings with the class. (Credits: Miriam Sutton, Science by the Sea, developed this activity during the Consortium for Ocean Leadersthip’s Deep Earth Academy/School of Rock, Texas A&M University, 2007.)

More lessons and activities coming soon….