Deep Time and You
Students make time lines showing significant events in Earth's history and their own lives.
The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, a number too large for people to conceptualize. If we were to shrink the Earth down to the size of a basketball and compress those 4.5 billion years into a few hours we would be able to observe radical changes. Continents would race around the globe, sink beneath the sea, rise up again, smash into other continents, build mountains, and erode back into the sea. Volcanoes would continually erupt and then quickly be weathered away. An astounding array of life would evolve and most of it would pass into extinction seconds later. Asteroids would occasionally slam into Earth. Indeed, the Earth would look like an extraordinarily dynamic little sphere before us.
But from our reference point, change of this magnitude is hard to appreciate. Yet if we begin to grasp the immensity of geologic time, we can begin to recognize the changing nature of Earth.
Students will construct time lines using adding machine tape. Completed time lines will be displayed on a wall for reference during the weeks you are studying Craters of the Moon. In subsequent Cultural History and Ecology units, new time lines will be added to the existing ones on the wall. Time lines of different scales will be linked together with string or yarn to show temporal relationships. For example,
Part 1 - Personal Time Line
Have the students make a time line describing events in their own lives.
Part 2 - Age of Earth Time Line
Have the students make a time line showing the age of the Earth.
Part 3 - Craters of the Moon Time Line
Have students make a time line showing events at Craters of the Moon.