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For this homework assignment, students have to draw two scaled timelines. The first is a personal timeline. They need to come up with the events themselves, an easy task that will build confidence for student who are intimidated by science and math. Following guidelines, they decide on a scale, and draw a linear timeline on which they plot their chosen events. Most students will primarily include recent events. They are asked to identify and explain any patterns in their timeline. Students should note the clustering at the present, and describe the emphasis on the present as resulting from memory, relevance to future hopes and worries, etc. The second timeline is more traditional. The students are given 16 Earth history events with dates and asked to draw another timeline, using the procedure from the personal timeline, but the line is already drawn for them. They will probably recognize most of the events on the list, and will be keeping them in order and spacing them out on the timeline. They are once again asked to identify and explain patterns and should recognize the emphasis on the present. This time, availability of fossils/rocks and relevance to current conditions and problems are good answers.
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