Rocks, Fossils and Geological Time Periods

This teaching and learning sequence has been developed for Year 8 Earth and Space Sciences focusing on sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks and their minerals and how they are formed by processes that occur within Earth over a variety of timescales. The sequence is based on Tamara Camilleri’s research on micropalaeontology looking at 400 MY old organisms.

The aim is for students to gain a better understanding of how our knowledge of Earth sciences, particularly palaeontology is continually evolving. It is a growing field that allows us to make links between Earth in its current day, and its conception. Understanding how rocks form and their dynamic processes, gives an insight into the circumstances in which fossils are found. With this, understanding characteristics of geological time periods, can provide further understanding into the discovery of fossils and the significance of their discovery. Questions about evolution can be better understood and give rise to the opportunity to delve into contemporary science. By identifying types and processes of fossilisation in ostracods, students can understand that there is more to palaeontology than just dinosaurs. Seeing how current research is influencing scientific understanding can provide students with a deeper understanding and appreciation for scientific method and the world around us.