Saturday, April 15, 2017

Great Lesson #2 - The Coming of Life Timeline

I am updating my original post from a few years ago on the second great lesson in the Montessori Elementary Curriculum: The Coming of Life. This lesson revolves around the Timeline of Life, a long chart with pictures and information about microorganisms, plants, and animals that have lived (or now live) on the earth.  This timeline has really opened up the classroom for plenty of research.  Here are some of the areas which can be studied (list taken from Montessori for Everyone):
  • Biology: cells, organized groups, five kingdoms, specimens, dissection, observation, use of microscope
  • Botany: study of plants, classification, functions, parts of plants (seed, fruit, leaf, stem, root, flower), types of plants
  • Habitats: location, characteristics, food chains/webs, symbiosis, adaptation, ecosystems, conservation
  • Ancient Life: eras of the earth, evolution, extinction, fossil records, excavation
  • Animals: classification, needs, similarities/differences, human systems, nutrition, hygiene
  • Monera, Protista, and Fungi Kingdoms: what they are, classification, observation
This new section of materials has definitely grabbed the attention of the boys.  I mean baskets full of dinosaurs and animals is much better than doing fractions!  There is a reason why I haven't gotten these materials sooner.  Perhaps it is the way that my boys turn into crazy people and start running around the classroom attacking each other or perhaps it was a lack of time.  Either way, I finally got these situated and the boys were very appreciative for this presentation. 

The story for this presentation is very informative and actually interesting.  It will easily hold the attention of your child.  You also have a bargaining tactic......baskets of exciting new objects to touch and work with!  This is the beginning of the timeline.  It starts with the Age of Invertebrates, also known as the Cambrian and Ordovician time period.  Don't mind the half colored part at the top of the timeline.  Kui never finished coloring it when she was presented this awhile ago.  However, it is still quite usable.  

This is the Age of Fishes, also known as the Paleozoic Era.

My boys favorite section of the timeline - DINOSAURS!!  This is the Age of Reptiles, also known as the Mesozoic Era.

This is the Age of Mammals, also known as the Cenozoic Era.

Here is a different angle with the objects.  I have to say that the cave woman and child in the top right hand corner are a bit scary to look at!  

With a little research, I found this teacher who drew her own timeline and made it into a printable format!! Yay!!  All I had to do was print it out and laminate it.  Now, if you look up close, my laminator went on the fritz towards the end of the timeline and it has some bubbles.  It was quite the process trying to laminate a sheet so long! Totally usable though and the older kids are now able to recreate their own timeline, but in a user friendly size.  I never knew Kui was quite the artist.  Clearly she doesn't take after her mother!

This timeline also has fewer pictures which makes the idea of recreating it much easier.

There are two supplements that I came across for this timeline.  I got the books here. It goes into detail on most of the pictures from the timeline.  The kids would find something they were interested in, like trilobites, and then find that page in the book to see more information on it.  Kui went a little bit further on a few items so we then used the library to find books on the subject.

Sample page from the Paleozoic Era book.

Here are a few samples from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Era book.

Here are just a few books that I got from the library on the different topics that are discussed on the timeline.  I actually went a little overboard with the amount of books I loaned and essentially maxed out all of our cards on the book limit.

The kids each had their timeline laid out and made the colored pencils the middle point.  We wouldn't want their timelines to touch now would we?!  I will try to remember to add pictures of their completed timelines to this post.

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