Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Rated 4.95 out of 5, based on 129 reviews
129 Ratings
Grade Levels
6th - 8th
Formats Included
  • Zip
67 pages
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What educators are saying

Great for middle school Earth Science. Students learn how we know the age of the Earth and different methods for dating. Really interesting and engaging.
This was an excellent unit. Well-organized and aligned with the middle school standards. My students were engaged.
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Do you need to teach students about the Age of the Earth? Students will construct an explanation based on evidence from rock strata and the fossil record to explain the geologic time scale and the age of the Earth. This unit addresses the NGSS middle school standard from Earth’s Place in the Universe strand. Aligned with NGSS and Utah SEEd. See more of this resource on my blog post Age of the Earth

This Age of Earth Unit Includes:

  • an informative slideshow
  • nonfiction text passages with comprehension questions
  • Timeline activities
  • Follow up pages
  • interactive notebook flaps
  • response pages
  • lesson plans
  • quiz
  • answer keys

See What Your Colleagues Are Saying:

Morgan ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ extremely satisfied

"The articles and slide show were great, and it really went well with the standards. Students liked recording information on layered-book and making a timeline".

Jack ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ extremely satisfied

"Excellent unit! Very comprehensive. Includes lots of interesting activities and a great slide show, and even a quiz. My students loved the activities and learned the information. Aligns well with the standards".

Standards Addressed:

✅ MS-ESS1-4. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history.


✅ Utah SEEd 7.2.6 7th grade

Make an argument from evidence for how the geologic time scale shows the age and history of Earth. Emphasize scientific evidence from rock strata, the fossil record, and the principles of relative dating such as superposition, uniformitarianism, and recognizing unconformities.

Science topics addressed include:

Age of Earth


Relative age

Absolute age

Radioactive dating

Law of Superposition

Principle of Cross-cutting relationships

Principle of Original Horizontality

Index Fossils

Isotopes and half-life

Geologic Time Scale

Precambrian Time

Paleozoic Era

Mesozoic Era

Cenozoic Era

Major Events in Earth History

See the preview for more details!

Save 20% by purchasing in a bundle: Earth's Place in the Universe

Purchase in the Earth Science Middle School Bundle and save 20%

Save 20% by purchasing in Utah SEEd 7th Grade Year-Long Bundle

Created by Lynda R. Williams

Teaching Science With Lynda

These resources are created by Lynda R. Williams at Teaching Science

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Please see my other resource for NGSS Middle School

Scale and Properties of Objects in the Solar System NGSS MS ESS1-3

Gravity in the Solar System NGSS ESS1-2

Weather and Climate Complete NGSS Unit Save 20%

How to use Age of the Earth in your Middle School Classroom

* My resources are secure and not editable for copyright reasons. 

Total Pages
67 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history. Emphasis is on how analyses of rock formations and the fossils they contain are used to establish relative ages of major events in Earth’s history. Examples of Earth’s major events could range from being very recent (such as the last Ice Age or the earliest fossils of homo sapiens) to very old (such as the formation of Earth or the earliest evidence of life). Examples can include the formation of mountain chains and ocean basins, the evolution or extinction of particular living organisms, or significant volcanic eruptions. Assessment does not include recalling the names of specific periods or epochs and events within them.


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