Benchmark Question: How are rocks and fossils used to
understand the history of the Earth?
Focus Question: How do different layers of the Earth
represent the history of the Earth?
The teacher will pose the
focus question to the class to introduce the lesson.
Then students in small
groups will fill a grocery bag with daily collections of classroom scraps
and shredded colored paper. This collection will be created over a period
Each time period is
designated by the use of different colored shredded paper. (At least two
different colors should be used.) After the collection period, each group will
cut a wide strip down one side of the bag, showing a window revealing all
layers. Measuring the height of the bag in centimeters, students will cut a
strip of paper equal to the height of the bag and will measure and record
the contents of each layer. Based on the students' data, the group will
determine the events that occurred during the different time periods. The
students will identify that the bottom layer represents the oldest layer.