The Story of the Earth

Introduction to the Geological Evolution of Planet Earth

Over the years, I have noticed that children go deeper in science when it is interwoven with history and math. With this in mind, I took the story presented in the book “Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Classroom” by Michael and d’Neil Duffy and created a lesson to help children conceptualize basic geological changes. I also decided to use this story as the beginning of  an in-depth study of the geological phenomena of continental drift.

Because stories are best told with pictures, or impressionistic charts as called in the Montessori world, I downloaded free pictures from the internet, glued them to construction paper, and laminated them.


I also bought a roll of cash registrar paper and scaled time to represent the age of planet Earth. I used 2 inches to represent 10 million years. In the strip of paper I included: homo sapiens, dinosaurs extinction, dinosaurs appearance, plant appearance, living organism appearance, and the birth of Earth.  To make it even more explicit, I colored lightly and quickly geological periods. Again, my goal was to showcase change and not how it formed. Hence, no reference to religious beliefs.


After telling the story I then proceeded to investigate with the children the theory of Pangaea. Because I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, I used the following free resources from the web: Britannica and National Geography to create a series of evidence-based lessons. The first picture was just “jigsaw puzzle” and the second looked at some fossils and mountains to show the super-continent Pangaea.

Try it. What kind of resources would you need to do this lesson with your children? Let us know how your lesson works out!

Reizelie is a former homeschool parent and a trained science and Montessori teacher with a passion for curriculum development. She loves learning and teaching and on her spare time she helps families create home environments that enrich a child's learning. Reizelie has a PhD in science education and has been working in the field of education for the last 19 years. She loves helping teachers, schools, and homeschooling families improve their science curriculum in ways that are authentic to scientists' work.

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