We love studying rocks, earth science and geology here in the Rainy Day Mum house and after this summer where we explored some of the cave systems created by the asteroid that caused the K-Pg extinction the kids have been asking lots of questions about the history of the earth and how things evolved. So as T likes timelines (her favourite book is Timelines of Everything!) we decided to create our own timeline of the history of the earth from The Big Bang through to modern man!
Evolution of the Earth from THe Big Bang to Modern Man – The Geological TimeScale
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When I suggested to the kids that we could learn about the evolution of the earth they suddenly disappeared and returned with a few non-fiction books that they knew had information in that would be useful.
Instead of focusing on the books at first I introduced this through a YouTube video that talked about the different Eons of Earth’s History and what happened on the world during those times.
Glossary of Earth’s History
Some of the words that your kids may hear when you talk and learn about the history of the earth could be new.
Words like Eon, Era, Epoch, Age, Period as well as Extinctions.
As we went through the video the kids would stop at something they didn’t understand use the dictionaries and Alexa to learn more.
This lead to us making a small Glossary of the terms you can do this with your kids as well.
Working with Kids to Create a Geological Timeline Model from The Big Bang to Man!
Whilst watching the video with the kids, I was nominated to make notes whilst they paused, searched for extra information and asked Alexa about definitions etc…
As we went through I could see so many ways to extend the information and use it to teach lots of different areas that caught their attention so watch this space as this is likely to connect with more activities in the near future!
Once notes were made and information found to go around the subject we then decided to create the timeline to scale!
Creating An Evolution of the Earth TimeLine with Kids
This was part research and part creative project for the kids. After watching the video we set about making the timeline. I left the actual information and design of the timeline completely up to them but helped them create the scaled picture themselves.
Materials Needed & Provided to Create a History of Earth Timeline
White Paper or an Easel Paper Roll
Coloured Paper to Represent the different Eons of Earth History
Pens, paper, card, stickers, glitter glue ~ let your child lead with what they need to create the timescale I let my kids use their imagination.
How to Make a Geological TimeScale with Kids
You will need a piece of paper around 140cm long for this to do a diagram that 1cm = 100 million years!
To that scale each of the Eons is as follows:
|EON||Time Scale||Length in Cm|
|Hadean||4.6 billion years – 4 million years ago||6 cm|
|Archean||4 billion – 2.5 billion years ago||15 cm|
|Proterozoic||2.5 billion – 541 million years ago||20 cm|
|Phanerozoic||541 million years ago – TODAY||5.4cm|
Prepare a piece of paper 140cm long (we taped smaller pieces of paper together to achieve this).
Then cut out coloured paper to the size for each of the Eons (we decided to make each get bigger width-wise so when it came to the Cenozoic Eon we could fit everything needed on it.)
We then positioned the Cenozoic era piece of paper at the right-hand edge and worked backwards through the eras from right to left (This will leave a big gap where your child can work on the Big Bang and creation of the solar system).
Been inspired to learn more about volcanoes and earthquakes that helped to shape our planet throughout the eras? Then check out our pick of the best fiction and non-fiction books on Earthquakes and Volcanoes for kids.
After everything was stuck down the kids drew lines and labelled the timescale from 13.8billion years ago at the Big Bang to Today.
Then label the Eons with their correct names.
After that time to let your kids imagination and creativity go and get them to use the notes you have from the video to add interest and detail to the timeline.
More Activities related to the Geological TimeScale
Most of the Activities we have found about the Geological Timescale for kids are worksheet based, however, we did find this fun geological timeline done with ribbons that will show again for kids how long it’s actually been in terms of the earth.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.