Name: “How the Earth Was Made” Packet #1

Name: Answer Key
“How the Earth Was Made”
Packet #1
Anticipation Guide:
Directions: Complete the first prediction column of the anticipation guide before the movie and
the actual answer column at the end of the movie/
(circle one)
Actual Answer
Scientists believe that Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
Pangea is the only theorized supercontinent formation
Without the burning of Earth’s core, life would not
be able to survive.
Scientists believe that we are living between 2 ice ages
Pangea Ultima is believed to form in 2 million years
from now
Earth’s core will one day cool and share the fate of Mars True
Introduction Questions:
Directions: Answer each question for the introduction of the movie.
1. How did scientists discover the age of the Earth? Radiometric Dating
2. Who is known as the father of modern geology? James Hutton
3. What was Hutton’s conclusion based on his observations?
That the Earth was much older than people previously thought.
4. How old did Arch Bishop Usher claim that the Earth was? 6,000 years old (he concluded
that the Earth was made on October 14 in the afternoon)
5. What year did Hutton find his proof? Answer goes here
6. What was the proof he found? Rock layers
7. What did Lord Kelvin believe about the Earth? That the Earth began as a world of
“Fire” but was slowly cooling.
8. Who discovered Radiometric Dating? Holmes
Directions: Complete the timeline below during the movie.
4.5 Billion Years Ago
• Earth forms from meteors colliding
• The surface is a molten ocean
• Earth is preparing to change into a water world
• When is pillow lava formed? When lava cools under water
4.4 Billion Years Ago
• Gradual cooling of the core is allowing the planet to solidify
• Water begins to form on the surface
• Surface rocks begin emitting CO2 (carbon dioxide)
4 Billion Years Ago
• Thick clouds form from large amounts of water vapor off the surface.
• The water in the atmosphere rained down for millions of years on the Earth causing 90 %
of the surface to be covered with water.
• Small volcanic islands appear
• The seas are iron rich, giving them a green color
• CO2 covered the skies causing them to appear blue
• Temperature exceeded 200 degrees F
3.5 Billion Years Ago
• Underwater volcanoes gave rise to granite
• This granite begins the formation of the continents
• Granite is produced by superheated water and basaltic water
o Why is granite special?
It has a very low density
o Why is granite good material for continental plates?
It has a very low density so it “floats” on the mantle and the oceanic crust.
2.5 Billion Years Ago
• Single celled organisms trigger the production of oxygen
o What is the name of this organism? Stromatolites
o Where can you find these organisms today? Western Australia
Why was the discovery of stromatolites a revolution in the fossil record? Answer goes
1.5 Billion Years Ago
• Iron begins to leave the oceans
• Increased oxygen levels make the sky and ocean look blue
• Earth begins to resemble the planet we know
• The continents begin to move
o What is the science of Plate Tectonics? The study of the movement of Earth’s
plates and the continents.
o What fresh water organism was used to link the theory of plate tectonics?
Trilobites (paradoxadies) – they were used because they were found on
different continents, this is called intercontinental distribution.
o What year was the Theory of Continent Drift proposed? 1912
o Who was the scientist who proposed this theory? Alfred Wegner
o Why did geologists have a hard time believing Wegner? They could not understand
or conceptualize his theory.
1 Billion Years Ago
• The first supercontinent is formed. It is called Rodinia
• This continent is very different because it does not support life.
• Rodinia triggers SNOWBALL EARTH due to: The massive continent blocked heat from
the poles. This caused the ocean to start to freeze. The snow began to reflect
the sun light causing more of the ocean to freeze.
The land begins to freeze which reflects the sun’s light away from the planet
o Why is it called SNOWBALL EARTH? Because, eventually, the entire Earth was
covered with a sheet of ice and resembled a snowball.
700 Million Years Ago
• Surface temperatures on Earth are below Answer goes here degrees F
• Oceans are covered in an ice sheet one mile deep
• Much of the life in the oceans is dying
o What is causing the death of these organisms? Answer goes here
650 Million Years Ago
• Beneath the ice, volcanoes were erupting breaking the continent apart
• The heat from the eruptions creates a temporary greenhouse effect and melts the
• Ice retreats to the poles
500 Million Years Ago
• Life in the oceans begins to become complex due to the increase in oxygen levels.
o This is known as the Cambrian explosion
• Diamond mines are discovered to be the mouths of very deep volcanoes
• Movement of the continents caused the super eruptions which bear these diamonds
• Over the next few 100 million years, life will flourish and large animals called dinosaurs
will rule the Earth.
65 Million Years Ago
• Vegetation is lush
• Dinosaurs rule the Earth
o Iridium is found large amounts in the tombstone layer
• An enormous meteor lands in Mexico.
• Along with volcanic eruptions, the meteor causes a huge cloud of dust which blocked the
sunlight and caused the extinction of much of the life on Earth.
• This dust cloud causes 75 % of the Earth’s life to become extinct.
50 Million Years Ago
• Life begins to recover
• Mammals and human ancestors begin to flourish
• Plate tectonics, weathering and erosion create the continents that we know today.
o How was the Alpine chain formed? FOLDING – two plates push together and the
rock is forced upward. (African & European plates)
o What do the quartz crystals reveal? Massive deformation (stretched, elongated
and flattened) – this shows that plates are moving and causing this
deformation in the crystal.
6 Million Years Ago
• How was the Grand Canyon formed? Uplifting of Colorado Plateau combined with
carving by the Colorado River.
What makes the Colorado River so powerful? The force of gravity gives it great power;
because it is so far above sea level, the river carves through the canyon like a saw.
2 Million Years Ago
• Ancestors of humans begin to spread out of Africa
Glaciers from the North Pole begin to descend
Earth enters the first ice age.
o What is believed to have caused the ice ages? A land bridge forms that affects
global ocean currents – polar ocean temps cooled rapidly, which cooled Earth’s
global temperature.
How was the “Ice Age Theory” formed? Boulders on top of gravel towers were
deposited randomly, and were believed to be carried by glaciers.
o What is some evidence that supports this theory? Outcrops of bedrock contain
“footprints” of the glacier – scars of parallel lines scratched into them.
The future
• What are some of the theories that scientists have about the future of Planet Earth?
15,000 years from now a new Ice Age will occur – whole countries will disappear.
Pangaea Ultima forms in 200 million years
Oxygen decrease & temp increase will cause mass extinctions
Plate tectonics cycle will stop in a billion years – Earth will become unfit for humans.
Bone-dry barren desert like Mars.
Name: __________________________ Pd. _____
“How the Earth Was Made”
Packet #2
Activity #1 – Read the attached article about Alfred Wegener and complete the associated
Activity #2 – Read the attached article about Harry Hess and complete the associated
Activity #3 – Label and color the map of Earth’ major plates.
Activity #4 – Complete the Fossils and Geologic Time crossword puzzle
Remember to use your RA strategies:
• Talking to the text
• KWL charts
• Word Dissections
• Graphic Organizers
And any other you would like to use!