The Montessori teaching albums have an exercise called the “Clock of Eras.” I felt that would not work as well for our family as DD really doesn’t “get” the idea of a clock fully. I didn’t think it would really teach them the enormity of time as well as a long set of ribbons would… so instead I used the proportions of the clock and made a very long geologic ribbon (it’s almost 60 feet in length):
I used red for the Hadean Era (a time of flaming gasses, volcanoes, etc.) — 9ft 4 inches
I used sage green for the Archaean Era (a time of great rains, poisonous oceans) — 17 feet 4 inches
I used yellow for the Proterozoic Era (a time when cyanobacteria and the sun worked together to put oxygen into the atmosphere) — 26 feet
I used blue for the Paleozoic Era (a time when most life lived in the seas to protect it from harmful rays of the sun) — 3 feet 9 inches
I used gold for the Mesozoic Era (a time of the great reptiles, among other life) — 2 feet 5 inches
I used green for the Cenozoic Era (a time with plants, animals birds, humans) — 10 inches
As you can see in the picture above we used various “props” to put onto our timeline. I had made some things out of cornstarch clay earlier this summer (a small volcano, pretend fossils,etc as I didn’t know if we’d have our stuff) — we also had a plastic dinosaur, plastic mammals and a pretend human (Strawberry Shortcake!) for the very end of the timeline.
Another time we did an activity What Came First? I wrote out index cards and let LD try to put them into the correct order. The cards included things like
the first mammals
the first birds
In the picture below, LD is putting things in their proper order (according the UCBerkley website)On the left in the photo I wrote out the chart from the website out by hand as a reference. I found it amazing is that grass came into the fossil record *after* camels (ants, dinosaurs and so forth).
The kids loved when we stretched the timeline through the house and they had to put things in the proper Era (the volcano, dinosaur, plastic wooly mammoth, etc.)
If you want to go even farther with your studies of the geologic eras, these Montessori teachers posted wonderful lesson plans on all of the various eras. We didn’t delve into their lessons as I had been promising DD a big unit on dinosaurs all summer as we traveled around and we’ve moved on to that. We’ve done lots of hands on dinosaur activities… so stay tuned if you’re interested in those! (Oh, and if you and your kids are inspired, you might try making a “trash-o-saurus” and link in with us at the end of this week! I thought that was such a fabulous idea and we’ve been working on ours for about 10 days now!!)
You Might Be Interested in These Related Posts:
- Learning about the Solar System – Including the hands-on kit the kids loved assembling and painting.
- Earth Science: Timeline of Earth Activity – A Montessori activity that is meant to impress kids with the enormity of time on Earth.
- Earth’s Geologic Timeline – Earth’s history separated by eons in a way the kids could really understand
- Earth Science – Layers of the Earth Activity
- Learning about Latitude and Longitude, Using a Compass
- Earth Science: Plate Movement Hands-On Activities
- Tissue Paper Volcano – Create a 3-D volcano image. The kids LOVED this craft
- Hands-On Volcano Activities: Gelatin Volcan0 & Paper Mache Volcano – We learned SO much from the gelatin volcano activity. I highly recommend doing this for understanding how lava flows as it does.
- Making a Shake Table for our Earthquake Studies – This post has a short video on how we made our shake table
- Earth Science Activities: Earthquakes, Plate Movement, Mountain Formation, the 4 Types of Mountains
- Free Earth Science Packet: Layers of the Atmosphere This is a 19 page packet with activities we did when learning about the layers of the Earth’s atmosphere