Geologic Time, The History of Everything

Textbook Connection:


Essential Questions:

  1. What major events occurred over the Earth's 4.6 billion years history?
  2. How is geologic time divided so that 4.6 billion years are comprehensible?
  3. Where do humans fit into the geologic time scale?


Enduring Understandings:

  1. Geologic time is divided into Eons, which are divided into Eras, which are divided into Periods.
  2. The Precambrian Supereon makes up an astounding 7/8ths of Earth's history.
  3. The Phanerozoic Eon (Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic Eras) make up the remainder of Earth's history.
  4. The Paleozoic ("Ancient Life") Era is known as the Age of Fish.
  5. The Mesozoic ("Middle Life") Era is known as the Age of Reptiles.
  6. The Cenzoic ("Most Recent") Era is known as the Age of Mammals.
  7. Life is adapted to varying conditions on Earth.
  8. The solid crust of the earth consists of separate plates that ride on a denser, hot, gradually defomable layer of earth.
  9. The ocean and continental crusts move slowly.
  10. The force of gravity enables the planet to retain an atmosphere.


Unit Vocabulary List


The geologic time scale from mrcoyleteach


Reference Materials:


BBC Walking With Beasts Fossil Interactives


What Caused the Permian Mass Extinction Event?


The Geologic Time Scale


Another View of the Geologic Time Scale (simpler/smaller)


Geologic Time Tour, a guided tour of geologic time


Prehistoric Timeline


Fossils from mrcoyleteach


What exactly are fossils and how do they form?


Fossils Tour, a guided tour (on the page click the Student Level 2 Shell)




Stories From the Fossil Record

This guided tour was designed to show that fossils do indeed "have a story to tell" and it gives us examples of evidence drawn from the fossil record.



Movie: "How the Earth Was Made"


How the Earth Was Made Movie Questions.pdf






  1. Activity/Homework: Personal Geologic Time Scale.doc

  2. Geologic Time Scale Assignment 1.doc

  3. Virtual Dig Assignment

  4. Living Fossils Assignment


Review Games:


Fossils 2

Fossils 3

Geologic Time Scale 

Geologic Time Scale 2

Geologic Time Scale 3





Life Through Time Exhibit (examples of life forms from different geologic time periods)

The Paleontology Portal


Chazy Reef, Isle La Motte  (a walk through time Lake Champlain)

Fossils of Lake Champlain (Ordovician Fossils, 485-443 million years ago)

Fossils of the Champlain Sea (8,000 to 11,000 years ago)

Geologic History of the Lake Champlain Basin