A Dynamic Planet
Age 12-14: Concept 2 - Semester 2: Unit 3

Take a journey through time. Experience the slow movement of the earth beneath your feet. Appreciate the forces responsible for the diversity of life on the planet today. This unit covers the history of geologic change on Earth and introduces children to the theory of evolution.

Other Items You May Need

The Age 12-14 semester 2 science units require materials from the Semester 2 Science Kit.
$58.50 #1808 Age 12-14 - Semester 2 Science Kit


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at an 8th or 9th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Can write a five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the eighth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: The Dating Game
  • Lesson 2: Plate Tectonics (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: The First Four Billion Years
  • Lesson 4: The Age of Visible Life (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Digging for Clues
  • Lesson 6: Natural Selection
  • Lesson 7: Survival of the Fittest
  • Lesson 8: Convergent Evolution
  • Final Project: Fast Forward (3 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Explain significant developments and extinctions of plant and animal life on the geologic time scale. (Science)
  • Explain the relationship between genetic variation and an organism's ability to adapt to its environment. (Science)
  • Explain the use of fossils, ice cores, composition of sedimentary rocks, faults, and igneous rock formations found in rock layers as evidence of the history of the Earth and its changing life forms. (Science)
  • Infer the age of Earth and relative age of rocks and fossils from index fossils and ordering of rock layers (relative dating and radioactive dating). (Science)
  • Know that biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations. (Science)
  • Know that Earth processes today are similar to those that occurred in the past, and slow geologic processes have large cumulative effects over long periods of time. (Science)
  • Know that evidence from geologic layers and radioactive dating indicates Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old and that life on this planet has existed for more than 3 billion years. (Science)
  • Know that fossils provide evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed. (Science)
  • Know that independent lines of evidence from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy provide the bases for the theory of evolution. (Science)
  • Know that movements of Earth's continental and oceanic plates through time, with associated changes in climate and geographic connections, have affected the past and present distribution of organisms. (Science)
  • Know that the history of life on Earth has been disrupted by major catastrophic events, such as major volcanic eruptions or the impacts of asteroids. (Science)
  • Know the reasoning used by Charles Darwin in reaching his conclusion that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution. (Science)
  • Summarize the use of evidence drawn from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy to form the basis for biological classification and the theory of evolution. (Science)
  • Understand that evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life on Earth. (Science)
  • Understand that the rock cycle includes the formation of new sediment and rocks and that rocks are often found in layers, with the oldest generally on the bottom. (Science)
  • Understand the evolution of organisms and landforms based on evidence, theories, and processes that impact the Earth over time. (Science)
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