AP Students Travel Through Time

By: Annalise Ginocchi and Isabella Cionni

Mrs. Sherry’s AP biology students have been studying the earth, how it came to be, and how old it actually is. It can be hard to imagine how long ago everything actually happened and the time spans between major events. , Mrs. Sherry thought it would be helpful to not only have her advanced students construct a timeline for better understanding, but then to have them interact with it.  

“While planning for the chapter in AP Biology about the history of life on Earth, I was trying to think of a way to impress upon the students how long the EArth has been in existence compared to how long animals, including humans, have been here,” Mrs. Sherry explained.  “I decided to create a timeline that is to scale and wraps around the classroom.”

The timeline spanned the entire back half wall of the classroom. Mrs. Sherry gave each student an event in history and then had them try to figure out where it belonged on the timeline. For example, the origin of prokaryotes occured 3.5 billion years ago. Once they were all correctly placed, they were taped to the timeline.

“The history of the Earthy is a total of 23 meters long, and humans have existed for .1 centimeters of that time,” Mrs. Sherry noted.  

After checking the timeline, Mrs. Sherry went through it with the class. She explained all of the events in depth to help the students get a better understanding of the Earth’s evolution.  

“The activity gave me the ability to visualize the Earth’s timeline in a way that I could not see with just learning from the notes,” stated Zoey Angelucci. A few other students added how the timeline activity helped them to better understand the time gap between important events.

Now that the timeline is assembled correctly, it serves as a great visual reminder of the vast history of life on Earth,” summed up Mrs. Sherry.