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LTM/SPE Lesson Plan

NAME: Laura Sprunk

Lesson Title: Geologic Time Scale

Grade level: 8

Stage 1 Desired Results

E.8.5 Analyze the geologic and life history of the earth, including change over
time, using various forms of scientific evidence.
MS-ESS2-o - Use arguments supported by evidence from the rock and fossil
records to explain how past changes in Earths conditions have caused major
extinctions of some life forms and allowed others to flourish.
Essential questions:
How have fossils and rocks provided
scientists with evidence of how life
and environmental conditions have

Topical questions:
What do rocks and fossils tell us
about a particular time in Earths
Why is this information important to
our society?

Student objectives (outcomes):

Students will be able to:
Name the eras and periods on the geological timescale from the PreCambrian time through the present.
Identify where on the geological timeline their assigned organism first
appeared and support their ideas with scientific evidence.
Use fossil evidence to defend scientific theories of Earths historical timeline.
Stage 2 Assessment Evidence
Formative assessment
Summative assessment
Can students identify the
Students will complete an Exit Card.
characteristics of their organisms and They will pretend that they are
infer where it may live and eat?
writing an article in a scientific journal
Can students identify changes in the
briefly explaining the fossil they
environment, climate, and organisms found and where it resided in our
from one time period to the next?
Earths history. First, they will briefly
Can students use evidence to
explain how the Earth has changed
describe the changes in the
over time, using specific periods and
environment, climate, and organisms eras in their explanation, and then
from one time period to the next?
use a fossil to specifically discuss how
scientists use evidence to learn about
Earths history. Students can be
challenged by using theories of the
past in order to describe what our
future may be like, using plate
tectonics as support, and what fossils
may be found.

Stage 3 Learning Plan

Learning Activities/Procedure (include timing):
Introduction (1minute)
Scientists are always organizing their evidence in order to make sense of
their findings and help identify relationships. Using fossil evidence, scientists
have divided our history into Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs. Specifically,
they used evidence of environmental or life form changes to categorize our
Activate Prior knowledge and Hook (4 minutes)
(Have target at top of SMART notebook slide)
Have several students come to SMART board to identify interesting things in
our history such as Earths birth, the formation of Pangaea, the extinction of
the dinosaurs, the formation of the continents as we know them today, and
the first human on a line that represents the geologic time scale from the PreCambrian time through the present day. Reveal the placement on the same
time line.
Instructions and Expectations (5 minutes)
Today we will be concentrating on the Pre-Cambrian time and the Eras and
Periods that follow. You will: {this will be on SMART board with target on top
1. Obtain a fossil from your teacher.
2. Observe this fossil carefully and note special characteristics in your
science journal.
3. Go to your first station.
a. Read the information very carefully about the ERA or PERIOD in
Earths history. You may read with your partner. You will discuss
the information as you read and then summarize the period
when you are done.
b. Determine whether your fossil fits or does not fit that ERA or
PERIOD. Check this in your journal.
c. Back up your decision with evidence on your sheet.
4. Move to EACH station until you have reached them all.
5. Be prepared to discuss with your teacher your learning so far. You will
use your fossil as evidence and knowledge of periods and eras for
support (this would be like scientists who share their learning with
peers in the form of conferences and written articles.)
6. Done? Circle the correct ERA AND PERIOD.
7. Check your answer with your teacher. Incorrect answers will be asked
to continue to investigate the Eras and Periods until the proper time is
You will be given about 8 minutes per station and will cycle through the
stations numerically (station 1 goes to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4and so on to avoid
bottlenecks.) If you are finishing up writing your evidence you may finish, but
you are expected to move on to the next station in a timely manner. Also,
even if you think you find your organisms Era and Period at your first station,

you will be expected to visit all stations and record notes about the climate,
environment, and organisms of all the remaining time periods. You will not
get through all of the stations today and that is ok. I expect that you will keep
conversations on task with those at your stations, be respectful to those
learning around you and leave the station with as you found it. I will ask you
to return to your seats near the end of class so we can share what we have
learned. I will be pulling names from your cards so please be prepared to
share your information including the name of the Era or Period you are
referring to.
Students will cycle through the stations (30 minutes) with teachers circulating
asking about evidence of climate, environment, and living organisms.
Formative assessment: Teacher will take a student roster and check off that
the student met the learning expectations based on conversation you are
having with them as well as observing their sheet as they move from station
to station.
Does their fossil fit the period they are reading about? Why or why not?
Students will return to their seats and I will choose several students to share
something they learned. Teacher: As I draw names, students will share what
they learned about the fossil evidence as it relates to our learning target. (5
Academic Language:
Station labels
Station readings
Differentiated readings for each station
Organisms (1 per student, per class, no duplicates in the same class)
Laptops with the following information displayed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY3MZ_wNFW8 (for students that have high
musical intelligence)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGcDed4xVD4 (students will view twice, once all
the way through, then the second time stopping at each era/period and referencing
the chart at the station)

Students will engage in an investigation just as a scientist would be if they
found a new fossil. Students will be using their observations about the fossil
and knowledge about the time periods to figure out where the organism

belongs in history. They can consider what life was like for that organism at
the time.
Disabilities/Diverse Needs Represented:
We have students who have lower reading levels, an LD student and a
student with anxiety difficulties in this class.

Students who have difficulty reading the material may have another student
read the word, section, or station to them. There will also be modified
readings available. They may work with a partner as well.