Earth History, First Edition

Human beings have used Earth’s resources since prehistoric times. We made tools from stones. We figured out how to extract precious metals from ores. We captured the energy of flowing streams. And, because it is human nature to explain everyday phenomena, we made up stories to explain how Earth was created. Students investigate sedimentary rocks and fossils from the Grand Canyon to discover clues that reveal Earth's history. They study the processes that created the rocks. Students then use the knowledge and data from rock observations to make inferences about organisms, environments, and events that occurred over Earth’s history.

Investigation 1: In Pushing the Envelope students consider how the process of observation and inference contribute to answering questions, both their own and those asked by geologists.
Investigation 2: Into the Grand Canyon introduces students to the sights and sounds of the Grand Canyon through videos, photographs, rock samples, and multimedia. They will begin to pose questions inspired by this introduction.
Investigation 3: In Grand Canyon Rocks students begin to build the concept of a rock layer as a three-dimensional structure and learn that the Colorado Plateau comprises many layers.
Investigation 4: My Sediments Exactly investigates the properties of sand, sandstone, and shale and the processes that create them.
Investigation 5: Limestone investigates the conditions that lead to the formation of a sedimentary rock, limestone, and how rock layers provide the evidence for ancient environments.
Investigation 6: In It's About Time students become familiar with the geological time scale, begin to comprehend the enormous spans of time that are described by geological time, and put the history of the Grand Canyon into scale.
Investigation 7: Fossils and Time introduces index fossils as evidence for determining the relative age of sedimentary rocks and explores fossils succession over geological time.
Investigation 8: One Rock to Another introduces students to the other two types of rocks found on Earth, igneous and metamorphic, and the processes that form these rocks.