The Earth's Timeline

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In this group activity, learners will mark important developments of life on Earth on a timeline (each foot in length representing 200 million years). From working with the timeline, learners will understand that humans have been living on Earth for a relatively short time compared to how long life has existed on our planet. The activity can be extended by having learners do their own research of events on the timeline and adding their own descriptions or illustrations to timeline events. This activity can be found on pages 33-34 of the activity guide. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
    • Earth's History
      • Geologic Time
      • Dinosaurs
    • Solar System
      • Origin of Solar System
  • Life Sciences
    • Evolution
      • Evidence for Evolution
      • Human Evolution
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, TERC, 2007

Funding Sources:

  • NASA, NAS5-26555
  • National Science Foundation, NSF 9730728