Sunday, September 9, 2012

evolution -- timeline of the Universe

Our main math focus during our evolution unit is based around time (and place value). This past week we read three books, written by Jennifer Morgan and illustrated by Dana Lynne Andersen, that together covered the entire passage of time (since time began 13 billion years ago). Then we began creating a timeline for the Universe on our hallway wall. First we painted a long line, which we labeled "Billions of Years", then divided it up into 12 equal segments, and labeled the time starting at "O" at the beginning of the first segment and ending at "13" (and "NOW") at the end of the last segment.

Then we drew pictures representing the major developments of the history of the Universe and pinned them up along the timeline where they occurred.

First we read the book Born With a Bang: the Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story, and drew the Big Bang (and put it at "0"), the formation of galaxies (which we located at "1"), then the formation of the Milky Way galaxy (located at "2"), as above. We also drew the super nova of our "mother sun" (at "7"), the birth of our Sun (at "8"), and the formation of the Earth (between "8" and "9"), as below.

We then read the book From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth Story, and then drew some of the major events in the history of life on our planet. Placing this drawings was more challenging, as the scale in the book was based on Millions of Years Ago, and our timeline is Billions of Years, so we had to convert from Millions to Billions, and then count back from the present to figure out where the events belonged on our timeline. First was the first life forms (bacteria), which was located at "9" (the very end of above).

This was followed by the development of Eukaryotes (located at "11"), then the development of plants (at between "12" and "13"), animals (again between "12" and "13"), and Dinosaurs Ruling the Earth (between "12" and "13", but sometime after the development of plants and animals), as above. Already the boys are feeling how crowded it's getting that last Billion Years and are seeing the need for a different scale.

We finished off the lesson for the week by reading the final book in the series, Mammals Who Morph: The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story. We'll start this coming week by creating a more appropriate timeline scale to fit the major evolutionary events. We'll also have fun doing some 3-D art work to represent the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs (or did it? Some controversy there....).

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Shellie, your Rosebud is gorgeous !!! And you still put me to shame with your homeschooling units. It has been a tough year for us emotionally, but next year, we will be following your Darwin block and thinking of you all the way. Thanks so much for all your sharing.