The History of Life


  • Whose on First? Relative Dating” introduces relative dating.
  • Determining Age of Rocks and Fossils” explores radioactive dating techniques.
  • Try this “History of Life” online matching game.
  • “The Mystery of the Far-Flung Fossils” is a very good kit for investigating plate tectonics as the grounds for the similarity of fossils on the continents. The kit can be ordered here and from most science catalogues. I recommend that the continents be laminated before use.
  • The “Becoming Human” website has a documentary along with several classroom activities. Tom Wanamaker of the NSTA Listserve contributed this worksheet (doc), “Becoming Human Questions,”  to go with the website.
  • Have students do this “The History of Life” (doc) crossword puzzle.
  • Teacher’s Domain’s “Deep Time” lesson (You must register for free to access.) includes a Flash interactive segment, html reading, and “Live-Action Student Timeline” activity.
  • Watch the “Radiometric Dating” video and answers the questions in this Teacher’ Domain lesson.
  • Check out this PowerPoint presentation, “Teacher’s Guide to: Fossils,” that has been converted to a YouTube video.


  • Try this”How can you simulate radioactive half-life?” lab (doc).
  • This “Examining the Fossil Record” lab uses pictures of imaginary fossils.
  • Try the “Re-creation of Pasteur’s Experiment” (doc).


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