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Lesson summary for:
The ChronoZoom Time Atlas of Earth History and Big History


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This resource presents Big History in a sequence of time scales through graphic panels. Each panel is accompanied by a page of text, discussing the historical features shown in the panel.

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

1 hour

Teaching tips:
This resource is designed to help students comprehend vast timescales in courses about Earth history or "Big History," the currently active effort to bring together in a unified way all of the information about the past, both humanistic and scientific.

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

  • Biological evolution accounts for diversity over long periods of time.

  • Through billions of years of evolution, life forms have continued to diversify in a branching pattern, from single-celled ancestors to the diversity of life on Earth today.

  • Life on Earth 3.8 billion years ago consisted of one-celled organisms similar to present-day bacteria.

  • There is evidence of eukaryotes in the fossil record from about one billion years ago; some were the precursors of multicellular organisms.

  • Geological change and biological evolution are linked.

  • During the course of evolution, only a small percentage of species have survived until today.

  • Tectonic plate movement has affected the evolution and distribution of living things.

  • Living things have had a major influence on the composition of the atmosphere and on the surface of the planet.

  • Mass extinctions occur.

  • Extinction can result from environmental change.

Teacher background:

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