Earth's History Task Cards | Printable and Digital Distance Learning

Amy Brown Science
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Amy Brown Science
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  1. This "History of Life on Earth Bundle" includes everything you need to teach a unit on Earth's History and the Origin of Life to your life science or biology students. Resources are available in BOTH printable and digital formats. The bundle contains a 92-slide PowerPoint presentation, lecture notes
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This is a set of 72 enrichment, reinforcement, and review task cards for your lessons on "The History of Life on Earth." Both printable and digital versions are included. Students will explore the early ideas about the origin of life, and will answer questions about Earth's history, radioactive dating, the formation of organic compounds, and theories about the formation of cells. Students will use their critical thinking skills to solve half-life problems. Key vocabulary words are thoroughly covered.

Choose to use the traditional printable version, or the paperless, digital Google Apps version. This resource is perfect for distance learning and for students in 1:1 classrooms.

Click this link to view all of my Digital Resources.

Suitable for life science and biology students in grades 8 -12.

What is included in this resource?

  • A set of 72 printable and editable task cards.
  • Paperless Digital Version (not editable) for use in Google Drive, Google Classroom, and/or Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Six full page, full color diagrams that are used with selected task cards.
  • A student answer sheet for recording answers.
  • Blank task cards so that you can add additional questions.
  • A complete teacher answer key.
  • Teacher Guide containing tips, tricks, and suggestions for use.
  • Review PowerPoint of 73 slides that can be used to go over answers with the students.
  • Teacher guide to Google Apps

Task cards are a fantastic way to enrich or reinforce lessons, review difficult concepts, or provide extra practice for the struggling student. The student reads each card, performs the task, and records his/her answer on the included student answer sheet.

From the moment of purchase, you will be ready to use your task cards in just a few minutes. Simply print the sheets of task cards on card stock paper, laminate, and cut the cards apart. The cards look best when printed in color, but they can easily be printed in black and white.

This set of 72 task cards on "Earth's History and the Origin of Life" covers the following concepts and topics:

  • Early Ideas About the Origin of Life: Biogenesis, spontaneous generation, abiogenesis, the experiments of Redi, Spallanzani, and Louis Pasteur.
  • Earth’s History: The age of the Earth, radioactive dating, isotopes, radioactive isotopes, carbon-14 dating, the limits of carbon-14 dating, the dating of older rocks and fossils, relative dating, relative age and absolute age.
  • The Chemical and Physical Processes that might have occurred that led to the first life forms.
  • The First Organic Compounds on Earth: The Oparin hypothesis, the experimental evidence of Miller and Urey, examination of new evidence about the atmosphere of early Earth.
  • From Molecules to Cell-Like Structures: Microspheres, coacervates, the experiments of Sydney Fox, the life like properties of microspheres and coacervates.
  • The First Life Forms: Key processes of metabolism and replication, protobionts.
  • The Origin of Heredity: RNA as the first genetic material, ribozyme, the ability to self-replicate, the role of natural selection.
  • The Fossil Record: The fossil record shows change over time, why the fossil record is incomplete, types of organisms that do and do not form fossils.
  • The First Single Celled Organisms: The anaerobic conditions on early Earth, first heterotrophic prokaryotes, rise of autotrophs, chemosynthesis, archaebacteria.
  • Photosynthesis and Aerobic Respiration: The production of organic compounds in photosynthesis, the release of oxygen into the atmosphere, the damaging nature of oxygen, the evolution of aerobic respiration, cyanobacteria, production of ozone.
  • The First Eukaryotes: Differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the theory of endosymbiosis, evolution of mitochondria and chloroplasts, evidence for endosymbiosis.
  • Sexual Reproduction and Evolution: Asexual reproduction in early bacteria, the role of sexual reproduction in natural selection and evolution.
  • The First Multicellular Eukaryotes: Arrival of protists, algae, fungi, plants and animals, the Cambrian explosion, first animal phyla, early animals are herbivores, appearance of predators.
  • The Colonization of Land: Solving the problem of reproduction without water and the problem of dehydration in an oxygen atmosphere, solutions to these problems, vascular tissue of plants, cuticle of plants, reproduction with pollen, the exoskeleton of arthropods, and the amniote egg.
  • Large Scale Process Have Affected Life on Earth: Continental Drift, Mass extinctions, Adaptive radiations.

Related Products Include:

Earth's History and the Origin of Life PowerPoint and Notes

History of Life on Earth Question and Answer Review PowerPoint

The Geologic Time Scale Activity

Origin of Life of Earth Homework Assignments

History of Life on Earth Quizzes

Lab: Making Coacervates

The Origin of Life on Earth Crossword Puzzle

Earth's History and the Origin of Life Unit Test

Darwin's Theory of Evolution PowerPoint and Notes

Classification and Taxonomy: The Diversity of Life Powerpoint with Teacher and Student Notes

Evolution and Classification: Warm Ups, Bell Ringers and Interactive Notebooks

Theory of Evolution Bundle

Classification and Taxonomy Bundle

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Total Pages
43 pages plus 72 slide powerpoint
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Construct an argument based on evidence about the simultaneous coevolution of Earth's systems and life on Earth. Emphasis is on the dynamic causes, effects, and feedbacks between the biosphere and Earth’s other systems, whereby geoscience factors control the evolution of life, which in turn continuously alters Earth’s surface. Examples include how photosynthetic life altered the atmosphere through the production of oxygen, which in turn increased weathering rates and allowed for the evolution of animal life; how microbial life on land increased the formation of soil, which in turn allowed for the evolution of land plants; or how the evolution of corals created reefs that altered patterns of erosion and deposition along coastlines and provided habitats for the evolution of new life forms. Assessment does not include a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of how the biosphere interacts with all of Earth’s other systems.
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.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11–12 texts and topics.
Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.


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