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Ch 1: Earth History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

Use these lesson plan outlines to plan out your Earth history class. Each lesson plan provides activities, lessons and material to make your classroom environment more engaging.

Earth History Lesson Plans

These lessons and lesson plan outlines make it easy to create a comprehensive set of lesson plans customized to your needs. Use the lessons, activities and syllabuses to get a firm grasp on what the most important topics in Earth history. The geologic time scale, dinosaurs and fossils will all be included in our lessons.

How It Helps

  • Common core: Ensures all your Earth history students are prepared for state and federal testing standards
  • Activities or games Each lesson plan gives you many useful tools to increase student engagement and encourage learning
  • Vocabulary words Provides useful exercises for memorizing the most important Earth history words and phrases

How It Works

This helpful resource offers teachers lesson plan outlines with relevant tools to make planning Earth history lessons easy.

  • Find lesson plans for specific Earth history topics you want to cover in class.
  • Formulate your Earth history class outline using the suggested classroom tools offered in the lesson plans.
  • Share the related Earth history lessons for each lesson plan with students in class to make learning fun and engaging.
  • Use related lesson quizzes to ensure your students understand the most important Earth history concepts from the lessons.
  • Engage your students with relevant Earth history related activities, discussion questions or other materials found in the lesson plan outline.

36 Lessons in Chapter 1: Earth History Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Geologic Time Scale Lesson Plan

1. Geologic Time Scale Lesson Plan

Students can be easily confused by the multiple divisions of the geologic time scale. Using a short video and a hands-on group activity, this lesson plan aims to break down the geologic time scale and provide students with tangible references to better understand the concept.

Geologic Time Scale: Major Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs

2. Geologic Time Scale: Major Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs

The geologic time scale is an essential tool for understanding the history of Earth and the evolution of life. In this lesson, explore the principal eons, eras, periods, and epochs that help us track major events in geologic history.

Geologic History Project Ideas

3. Geologic History Project Ideas

How do you help students that have been alive for fewer than 20 years understand a history that has been in action for 4.5 billion years? This lesson will provide a few concrete ideas that will help students grasp the topic of geologic history.

Earth History & Geologic Time Activities for Middle School

4. Earth History & Geologic Time Activities for Middle School

When was Earth created? Getting your students involved with activities will help them explore the topic in some fun ways. This lesson has activities to keep your students engaged as they learn about the history of Earth.

The Origin & History of Life On Earth Activities for Middle School

5. The Origin & History of Life On Earth Activities for Middle School

Teaching your middle school students about the origin and history of life on Earth is no small responsibility. This lesson offers some activities that will make your instruction meaningful and memorable.

Dinosaur Timeline Lesson Plan

6. Dinosaur Timeline Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to teach students about the three periods in the dinosaur timeline. Students will read a text lesson and apply learning to a hands-on activity that makes learning stick. Test understanding with a quiz.

Dinosaur Timeline: Lesson for Kids

7. Dinosaur Timeline: Lesson for Kids

While dinosaurs are no longer around, they certainly went through quite the journey when they roamed the earth! Come and learn about the three periods in the dinosaur timeline, as well as how dinosaurs still live on today.

Dinosaur Lesson Plan

8. Dinosaur Lesson Plan

Teaching children about dinosaurs can be fun with this Study.com lesson. Help students dig into dinosaur history, learn to classify dinosaurs and discover current-day dinosaurs. Follow up with an engaging activity.

Dinosaur Facts: Lesson for Kids

9. Dinosaur Facts: Lesson for Kids

Movies like ''Jurassic Park'' and ''The Good Dinosaur'' show the Hollywood version of a day in the life of a dinosaur. How can you tell fact from fiction? This lesson will teach you about dinosaurs, how they are classified, and the existence of dinosaurs today!

Dinosaur Project Ideas

10. Dinosaur Project Ideas

Dinosaurs can be one of the most exciting things for students to learn about! Make learning about them even more fascinating by offering students the opportunity to engage in projects that let them use a variety of learning styles.

Fossil Lesson Plan

11. Fossil Lesson Plan

Use this Study.com lesson plan to teach students types and characteristics of fossils. Students can examine how they form, and then make some 'fossils' of their own.

Fossil: Definition, Types, Characteristics & Examples

12. Fossil: Definition, Types, Characteristics & Examples

Fossils provide scientists with many clues about Earth's history, offering evidence of dinosaurs and strange plants that existed in the past. This lesson will define a fossil, look at different types and characteristics of fossils, and then describe how fossils are formed.

Carbon Dating Lesson Plan

13. Carbon Dating Lesson Plan

Educate your students about carbon dating with this lesson plan. They will view a video lesson, participate in three hands-on activities, and take a related follow-up quiz to test them on main concepts.

What is Carbon Dating? - Definition & Overview

14. What is Carbon Dating? - Definition & Overview

Ever wondered how scientists know the age of old bones in an ancient site or how old a scrap of linen is? The technique used is called carbon dating, and in this lesson we will learn what this is and how it is used. A quiz will test how much we have learned.

Half-Life Lesson Plan

15. Half-Life Lesson Plan

This lesson provides you with a quiz, activity, and discussion questions that will help your students grasp the concept of half-lives in an entertaining fashion.

Half-life: Calculating Radioactive Decay and Interpreting Decay Graphs

16. Half-life: Calculating Radioactive Decay and Interpreting Decay Graphs

What causes a radioactive particle to decay? We'll never really know, but our best guess lies in probability. In this lesson, we are going to focus on the half-life, a way of measuring the probability that a particle will react.

Relative Dating Lesson Plan

17. Relative Dating Lesson Plan

Educate your students about relative dating with this lesson plan. They will view two video lessons, take two related quizzes, and participate in two activities that will help to reinforce newly-learned material.

What is Relative Dating? - Law of Superposition, Principles of Original Horizontality & Cross-Cutting Relationships

18. What is Relative Dating? - Law of Superposition, Principles of Original Horizontality & Cross-Cutting Relationships

Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age. Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past. We'll even visit the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the Great Unconformity!

Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time

19. Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time

You may already know how to date a fossil with a rock. But did you know that we can also date a rock with a fossil? Watch this video to find out how we use index fossils to establish the relative ages of rocks.

Gondwana & Laurasia Lesson Plan

20. Gondwana & Laurasia Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to introduce students to plate tectonics and the ancient supercontinents Gondwana and Laurasia. Students will read two text lessons, discuss new information, and make a flipbook of continental movement.

Gondwana Supercontinent: Definition & Breakup

21. Gondwana Supercontinent: Definition & Breakup

Millions of years ago, all of the land in the Southern hemisphere was joined together into one large supercontinent called Gondwana. In this lesson, learn about how Gondwana formed and later broke apart.

Laurasia Supercontinent: Definition & History

22. Laurasia Supercontinent: Definition & History

Over the millions of years that the Earth has existed, super continents have formed and split apart many times due to the action of plate tectonics. In this lesson, learn all about the ancient super continent of Laurasia.

Fossil Record Lesson Plan

23. Fossil Record Lesson Plan

If your class is studying fossils, use this lesson to learn about the fossil record. Students will use clay and other art supplies to recreate fossils and summarize the evidence from the fossil record about a specific organism. An extension activity is included that challenges students to make a paleontology TV show.

Fossil Record: Definition & Examples

24. Fossil Record: Definition & Examples

This lesson teaches you about the fossil record. It explains how scientists learn about Earth's distant past and highlights what fossils can tell scientists about ourselves and other organisms.

Fossils Lesson Plan for Elementary School

25. Fossils Lesson Plan for Elementary School

What are fossils and what can they tell us about the past? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to teach students important facts about fossils. An activity provides students with a meaningful takeaway.

Fossils Activities & Games

26. Fossils Activities & Games

Fossils are an important part of our history that help scientists learn more about plants and animals that lived in the past. Check out this lesson for engaging activities and games that teach students about fossils.

Paleontology Lesson Plan for Elementary School

27. Paleontology Lesson Plan for Elementary School

What is paleontology and how does it help us learn about extinct plants and animals? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to explain key facts about the science of paleontology. An excavation activity gives students the chance to play paleontologist.

Paleontology Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

28. Paleontology Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

What was life like on Earth millions of years ago? Paleontology is the field of science that tries to answer that question. Learn what paleontology is, what paleontologists do and more fascinating facts about paleontology in this lesson.

Paleontology Lesson Plan

29. Paleontology Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students will get to learn about paleontology as a science. They will discuss the history, objectives, and challenges of paleontology, and will practice analyzing paleontological data through a short group activity.

Dinosaur Habitat Project Ideas

30. Dinosaur Habitat Project Ideas

Dinosaurs roamed the Earth for 185 million years, and lived in eight distinct habitats. The following four fun projects will teach your students about the unique conditions in which the dinosaurs lived.

Fossil Record Lesson Plan for Elementary School

31. Fossil Record Lesson Plan for Elementary School

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about fossil records. Students will be able to answer questions using textual evidence to support their answers and summarize how paleontologists create a timeline of prehistoric events.

Fossil Record: Lesson for Kids

32. Fossil Record: Lesson for Kids

What do fossils and puzzle pieces have in common? Read this lesson to learn about the fossil record and how it helps scientists piece together information about the history of life on Earth.

Fossil Evidence & Environmental Change Lesson Plan

33. Fossil Evidence & Environmental Change Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan, middle school students explore the concept of fossil evidence. Students will watch a video lesson and then, with a partner, create a model fossil record showing climate change.

Ocean Themed Activities for Kids

34. Ocean Themed Activities for Kids

Exploring the ocean is great fun. This lesson plan offers your students many activities to help encourage their imaginations as they learn and explore the depths of the oceans.

Dinosaur Unit Plan

35. Dinosaur Unit Plan

Utilize this unit plan to access activities and projects to encourage your third through sixth graders' creativity and analytical skills while learning about dinosaurs.

Mary Anning Activities

36. Mary Anning Activities

Mary Anning's role in paleontology is often overlooked which makes her a great figure to take time to examine. These activities can help your students engage in her life, work, and contributions to science.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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