Tagged: geological time

Write a Postcard “Back to the Future”


Over billions of years, since the earth was formed in a “Big Bang” and life began to evolve 4.5 billion years ago, our planet has gone through dramatic and dynamic changes. These changes have occurred in the oceans (rises and falls of sea level), the continents (moving due to continental drift and changing due to earthquakes, volcanoes, weathering and erosion) and in the atmosphere (changing concentrations of gases, El Nino and climate change).
Your assessment task for this unit of work is to write a postcard from the distant past to the present day. Imagine you have been transported back in time (tell me how far back) and you are writing “Back to the Future”. You are to describe one of the following examples of change on earth:

  • Earthquakes – different types, how they occur and what happens as a result
  • Volcanoes – different types and what happens when they erupt
  • Cave formation (eg at Mt Eccles or Naracoorte)
  • Sea level changes – How and why do we find marine fossils far inland?
  • Continental drift – how the continents move and the evidence for this.
  • Rock Cycle (sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous)
  • Climate change (many ice ages in the past, deserts formed and tropical forests grew)
  • Evolution of life (species have evolved and become extinct)

Make sure you have a relevant picture on one side of the post card and describe how the earth has changed since the distant past. You need to include the climate, geology and the life on earth at that time.

National Geographic has an excellent interactive Prehistoric Timeline for you to use to research your specific time period.

Toilet Roll Time Line

Photo Source

Geological time is a difficult concept to visualize – humans have only existed on earth for a tiny portion of the time since earth was formed, over 4.6 billion years ago. I came across a site from Worsley School where they have used a toilet roll, a long hallway and sticky notes to assist in the visualization of the history of the earth. Each of the approximately 400 squares on a roll of toilet paper is equivalent to 12.5 million years.