Creating Geological Time Scale Models with CER

Standards Addressed

6-8 grade band
Earth and Space Science
                  3.3.7.A6 - CONSTANCY/CHANGE SCALE: Describe geologic time as it relates to earth processes.
                  3.3.7.A3 - Explain and give examples of how physical evidence, such as fossils and surface features of glaciation support theories that the Earth has evolved over geologic time.
Science as Inquiry
3.3.6.A6 – Models/Scales – Describe the scales involved in characterizing Earth and its atmosphere.  Create models of Earth’s common physical features.
                  3.1.8.B6 - Explain the importance of accuracy and precision in making valid measurements.
                  3.1.6.A9 - Develop descriptions, explanations, and models using evidence and understand that these emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and are based on scientific principles, models, and theories.

Supplies/Materials/Articles Needed

The attached files include the teacher and student instructions and answer key, and a student C-E-R tracking sheet.

Preparation Time Needed


Class Time Required

2-3 45 minute class periods

Activity Description

In this activity students will make claims prior to seeing any data and complete a mapping activity that creates a geological time scale to help them use evidence to support or refute their claims. 

This classroom exercise is intended to be an introductory Earth Science activity to prepare students to look at time on the large scale and to discuss plate tectonics and rock records.

Students are required to calculate scales necessary to complete the exercise. To scaffold this activity for younger or less math inclined students, teachers could give them the conversions completed for the students.