term project time line of earth s history

  1. This assignment is something you’ll be working on the rest of the semester! Note: this assignment will be much easierif you do a little bit after class each week or keep very good notes. Bonus: doing this will act as a study guide for your exams!

You are going to construct a time line of the major events of Earth’s history concerning the evolution of life. On this timeline, you should list the events that we discuss in class (for example, the age of Earth, the Iron Catastrophe, first evidence of life, Great Oxygenation Event, Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, etc) AS WELL AS information about each of these events. This timeline will serve as a very helpful study guide for you, so starting it now will count as study practice for your tests!

  1. Format: The format for this is freeform! You may: write a scene of a play, write a rap or song, make a video, write a short story or play, make it using craft supplies or drawings, Prezzi, a website, whatever you want. If you are unsure of a format, please feel free to talk to your instructor. Creativity is part of your grade.

All of the events must have the following information: name of event, geologic time AND the name of the unit (e.g., Cambrian Period (542 million years ago). What happened during the event. How do we know (i.e., the evidence for the event). The time line MUST be in chronological order

Here is an example: The Great Oxygenation Event: 2.5bya. Initiation of oxygen rise in Earth’s atmosphere. Evidence includes: lack of pyrite deposits; presence of gypsum (mineral that can only form in oxygen); disappearing of Banded Iron Formations, rise of multicellular life. Basic information such as this is the minimum that you should have. As this is essentially a study guide that you are making for yourself, you should put as much effort and detail into this as possible.

Special note: for events that happened BEFORE 542 million years ago, you do not need to go smaller than eons. Please refer to the geologic time scales provided in Canvas Modules so that you have easy access to geologic time scale terms!

Minimum events that should be put into your project (you may put in more, if you’d like):

-Origin of Earth

-Iron Catastrophe (there isn’t an official “date” for this event-you may give a range of time for when this event likely happened)

-Formation of the moon

-First life

-First multicellular life

-Great Oxygenation Event

-Cambrian Explosion

-First animals on land

– Devonian Extinction

-Permo-Triassic Extinction

-Formation of Pangea

-Origination of dinosaurs

-Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction (K-Pg)

-Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

-Great American Biotic Interchange

-First human fossils (this date may vary depending on how you classify human-first Homo? First bipedal creatures? It’s up to you-but you must tell us why you chose the date that you did)

-Younger Dryas Event


  1. Turning it in. You may turn in your assignment in person (i.e., during class) on the due date. You must submit it on Canvas. If you turn in your assignment in person, your Canvas submission is merely a single photo of your project. This way, we can ensure that we grade the correct project in the event of names missing, etc.

Due: Last day of class in class. Please make a copy of your project/ take photos so that you can continue studying from it while your assignment is being graded. You will turn in the original.

  1. Citations. If you use images that you did not take, you must include a citation. For this, simply provide the website or book from which you got the image beneath/next to the image. You must use information from at least 3 sources for this project (books, articles, or websites that end in .org, .edu, .gov-NOT .com or anything from Wikipedia). If you do not do this, 10 points will automatically be removed from your assignment.
  2. You may not copy and paste lecture notes- all of this is to be in your own words. If you do this, you will receive a zero and have to deal with the office of academic integrity.
  3. This is not a group project. You are allowed to work with other students to develop your projects and piece together information, but you are to turn in your own, individual work. If there is evidence that you have copied another student’s work, turned in the same assignment, or otherwise plagiarized, you will receive a zero for the project and possibly the entire course.
  4. Political references. Please do not include subjective political references! I will use the best projects as future demonstrations or in teaching portfolios (with student permission), so please do not put in sensitive or inappropriate jokes about politics, religion, etc.
  5. Rubric.

Content: 50 points. ~2.5 points per event.

Creativity: 10 points (it is possible to receive extra points if your project is exceptionally creative at the instructor’s discretion)

Format: 15 points (all directions followed; uploaded properly/on time, clean, citations, easy to read, etc.)

  1. Getting your project back. If you’d like your project as a keepsake to commemorate your time in this class, please send me an email after you have submitted it so that we can arrange a time for you to pick it up! This only applies to students who create a project not is not digital.