6-12 Earth History

Earth History

The South Carolina Aquarium, in partnership with teachers, has created this online curriculum for teachers to use with their students in the classroom. Our Earth History unit is geared toward 8th grade teachers because the standards covered are heavily 8th grade science standards. All the activities contain background information, procedures, materials list, standards addressed, assessments, curriculum extensions and a resource list. We hope teachers will enjoy this resource!

If you are a teacher planning to participate in our Earth History virtual School Program, we recommend completing the following activities before your program. Those activities include: Geologic Time Scale, Rock Cyles and Layers and Fossil Gap. The most important activity being Rock Cycles and Layers.

The Aquarium’s School Programs are virtual this school year (2020-2021). We have added at-home and virtual learning modifications to our recommended activities. Be sure to see how you can engage your students at-home and virtually with our activities!

Recommended Pre-visit Activity
♥ At-home and Virtual Options

Students will estimate when humans emerged on Earth and then as a class they will develop or investigate the timescale using a rope to get a concept for the timeline to scale. Students will discover that life is recent on Earth and that organisms start as simple and became more complex over time.

Recommended Pre-visit Activity
♥ At-home and Virtual Options

Students will create their own rock cycle illustration, describing the processes necessary for each rock to be formed and identifying examples of each rock type.

Recommended Pre-visit Activity
♥ At-home and Virtual Options

Students will start by learning about the different types of fossils. They will organize a collection of fictitious animal “fossils” based on their approximate age and appearance.

Students will puzzle together the earth’s plates and discover where the continents are in relation to the plates.

Recommended Post-visit Activity

Students will act as paleontologists and try to determine the best sites to look for fossils here in South Carolina. Students will explore the basic geology and rocks rock makeup in various areas of South Carolina.