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Lesson summary for:
Understanding Geologic Time


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A web-based module in which students gain a basic understanding of geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth's history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the Geologic Time Scale.

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

One class period.

Teaching tips:
Appropriate for 5th grade with some teacher guidance.

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Life has been on Earth for billions of years.

  • Fossils provide evidence of past life. (LS4.A)

  • Scientists base their ideas on evidence from the natural world. (P3, P6, P7, NOS8)

  • Scientists study rocks and how and when they were formed.

  • Scientists study fossils and how and when they were formed. (LS4.A)

Teacher background:

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