P.S. 101

The objective of this lesson  is to use the Internet to study the evolution of our planet. Pupils will learn about the earth's development and the formation of living things from simple organisms to more complex plants and animals.

Aim: What are the divisions of the earth's past?

era Geologic Era Precambrian Era Paleozoic Era Mesozoic Era Ice Age
Cenozoic Era plesiosaur mammoth trilobite amphibian invertebrates



To learn about the earth's formation.
To list the 4 geologic eras or divisions of the earth's history.
To work in cooperative learning groups to find, evaluate and record important data on this topic.
To use critical thinking skills.
To develop note taking skills.
To gather information from the internet and record onto a chart.
To present an oral report.
To use math skills to create a bar graph displaying information on these eras.


1.    know that fossils provide evidence about the plants and animals that lived long ago and the nature of the environment at that time
2.    participate in group meetings
3.    read and comprehend informational materials
4.    organize information
5.    prepare and deliver an oral report

Materials:    computer with Internet capabilities, AppleWorks

Motivation: Ask pupils to guess the age of some famous people like President George W. Bush, Senator Hillary Clinton, Brittany Spears. (Be sure you have the ages yourself for reference.)   Next ask pupils to guess how old the earth is. Ask them if they can guess how many years ago the first mammals appeared, the first humans. Discuss ideas.


1.  Have  pupils make a time line chart of their lives using Netscape Navigator. The timeline should have 3 columns. Column One should cover the time from Birth to 5 years old, the second column will cover 6-8 years old , the last column, age 9 and up.
Each column should contain at least 3 facts or accomplishments for each period.
After sufficient time allow pupils to share and compare their information . They should note that as time passed and they grew or developed, they accomplished more advanced tasks and added more responsibilities to their lives. They also should realize that their accomplishments became more sophisticated or complex. Explain to the students that the same thing happened in the earth's development; change and progress happened very slowly. It took many thousands of years for organisms to develop into higher life forms.

Form new groups. Appoint a leader to supervise the research and the recording of information, a researcher or researchers who will go online using these resources: (each of these sites contain pictures, information and timelines showing changes and developments of each geological era).
Paleozoic Era- http://mpm.edu/collect/geology/Paleozoic-noframes.html
Precambrian Era - http://mpm.edu/collect/geology/Precambrian-no frames.html
Mesozoic Era- http://enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/Mesozoic
Mesozoic Era- http://kheper.auz.com/gaia/Mesozoic/Mesozoic.htm
Cenozoic Era - http://mpm.edu/collect/geology/Cenozoic-noframes.html

Students will find information about one of the 4 major geologic eras of the earth's history, with one student in the role of an editor, who will record on database chart when research has been completed. AppleWorks may be used to create the database. All pupils will record data on their individual copies of the chart. Assign a geologic era to each group. The group should the record data in their notebooks. They should discuss what data is important and must be included, such as the time of each era and the events or developments that occurred in them. They will edit their work so that it can be added to the class database chart that includes all the eras. This database will  be run off and distributed to the class for study. A blow up of this chart will be visible in the front of the room. Pictures found during research may be added to the chart.
    A bar graph should be made using an AppleWorks spreadsheet and displayed in the classroom or on a bulletin board along with the completed database.