This resource was created by Michelle Kuhlman, in collaboration with Dawn DeTurk, Hannah Blomstedt, and Julie Albrecht, as part of ESU2's Integrating the Arts project. This project is a four year initiative focused on integrating arts into the core curriculum through teacher education, practice, and coaching.
Understanding geologic time is a core idea in science that has deep connections to other areas of geology (e.g.,
plate tectonics), biology (e.g., evolution), and astronomy (e.g., planetary science). The topic, however, is
challenging for students to understand because of enormous timescale of the Earth. Therefore, students need to
make sense of the 4.6 billion year history of Earth as well as the history of life on Earth. This requires an
understanding of the depositional environments that create rock strata for us to read, relative dating ideas such
as the principle of superposition and the use of index fossils, and absolute dating techniques such as radiometric
dating. Taken together, these topics provide students not only an understanding of the history of the Earth, but
an understanding of how we have pieced this history together with multiple forms of evidence.
Rating: Example of High Quality NGSS Design
Awarded the NGSS Design Badge
Science Discipline: Life Science, Earth and Space Science, Physical Science
Numerous reports suggest an increase in white shark encounters in the United States in recent years and the public is worried. In this integrated middle school unit, students engage in three-dimensional learning that enables them to explain the phenomenon. White sharks in the coastal waters of Southern California serve as a case study for students to ask questions and build understanding. Students initially question if white shark encounters are in fact increasing and investigate reports of sightings. They wonder if we know whether or not the population is on the rise, leading students to next explore past evidence from fossils and data from historic fishers logs. Students then question how scientists today are monitoring white sharks, setting the stage to explore the use of modern tracking devices (digging deep into waves and signals) and what researchers know about white sharks because of the application of this technology. This opens up the opportunity for students to question and consider what the science community has learned about white shark life history, how humans have impacted the white shark population off Southern California, and to devise a way to address public concerns.
Nebraska 8th Grade Science Standards Unwrapped - This document will provide Nebraska Science teachers links to the Unwrapping documentation for each of the Nebraska Science Standards by grade level.
This diagram describes and illustrates the laws of relative rock dating. The laws of superposition, lateral continuity, original horizontality, cross-cutting relationships, and unconformities are represented. Definitions adapted from ck-12 Relative Ages of Rocks, CC-BY-NC 3.0