This activity was inspired by the lesson Sequencing Time by Judith Scotchmoor. I adapted the format of the Personal Time Scale to more closely resemble the Geologic Time Scale most often used by geologists. In addition to writing great lessons, Judith Scotchmoor is the Director of Education at the University of California Museum of Paleontology. More importantly, she has created the definitive web resource for educators trying to teach geology and Earth history. Here you can find detailed information about each eon, era, period and epoch in Earth History. Furthermore, you can learn about how the geologic time scale was created and how it is organized. These web resources are used extensively in the next lesson in this Geology Box – Geologic Time on the Web.
To learn more about William Smith, read the excellent popular science book The Map that Changed the World: William Smith and the birth of modern geology by Simon Winchester.
Investigation and Experimentation
Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
g Interpret events by sequence and time from natural phenomena (e.g., the relative ages of rocks and intrusions).
Earth and Life History (Earth Sciences)
Evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life on Earth. As a basis for understanding this concept:
g Students know how to explain significant developments and extinctions of plant and animal life on the geologic time scale.