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Montessori-inspired Time Line of Life Activities w/ Free Printables

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We have started our study of the Time Line of Life.  This has been such an amazing experience.  I don't think we've ever had a unit study where all three kiddos were equally excited about the theme. Stay tuned for a ton of new activities coming soon!  Bulldozer is loving the study of the Earth, learning about earthquakes, volcanoes, and the types of rocks.  Dinomite is over the moon about studying so many prehistoric creatures in depth.  Princess is loving the biology aspect of the study, especially the first activity below.

Parts of a Bacterial Cell
It's hard to understand the beginnings of life on Earth, without knowing what a cell is.  The kiddos have two options when selecting this activity. They can match up the pictures with the definitions, reading each one aloud, or they can make their own parts of a bacterial cell book using the crayons provided.

Source:  These amazing printables came form The Montessori Print Shop.  They are not free, but I assure you the small cost is worth it!

Cambrian Life Nomenclature Cards & Figure Match Up
Moving past the Precambrian Time and into the Cambrian Period, life on Earth has definitely evolved.  The kiddos will match up nomenclature 3-part cards with the organisms in the Safari Ltd Cambrian Life TOOB.  I had hoped to include them in the activity above, but they have yet to arrive. 
Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Montessori-inspired Time Line of Life Printable Pack 1.  For you free copy. click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Paleozoic Era Dig & Identify
Next month we will study the Time Line of Life in more depth, learning more about fish, reptiles & amphibians, birds, and mammals. For now we're doing a brief introduction of the Paleozoic Era using the Safari Ltd Cambrian Life TOOB.  The kiddos will dig for fossils and then match them up with the cards provided.  One set of cards shows the corresponding fossil.  The other set of cards shows what the organism looked like.

Source:  I create the printable for this activity as part of my Montessori-inspired Time Line of Life Activities Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Triassic, Jurassic, & Cretaceous Period Sorting Activity
It is a well known fact that Dinomite is and has been obsessed with dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures for quite some time.  I don't see this passion ending any time soon.  He just keeps studying more and more.  In this activity the kiddos can match up cards to prehistoric creatures of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods and/or they can sort the creatures by time period.  Dinomite was already looking through the cards as I was preparing this activity.  Lol.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Dinosaur Unit Science & Culture Printable Pack 1. For your free copy, click HERE.

Cenozoic Era Invitation to Play
There is much to learn about the Cenozoic Era, but for right now, we're focusing on some mammals we're not as familiar with.  Dinomite helped me create this invitation to play.  I think he did a great job.  He's head over heels in love with the Safari Ltd Prehistoric Life TOOB.  If you haven't noticed, we have quite a collection of prehistoric creature Safari Toobs.  Dinomite asks for a new one every year at Christmas time and around Easter.  I admit they make great stocking stuffers and Easter Egg surprises.

Our introduction of the Time Line of Life wouldn't be complete without the fabulous videos we've watched.  Dinomite has owned two of them for quite some time and watches them often.  The other will become part of our collection soon.  Dinomite became obsessed with Nigel Marven when he was about 5 years old.  He seriously wanted to be Nigel Marven.  I wish I had access to the picture of Dinomite dressed up just like the animal scientist.  He was absolutely adorable!

The videos below are presented like documentaries, but with some added fun.  They are perfect for any young dinosaur and prehistoric creature lover.

Chased by Dinosaurs is a hit with every young dinosaur lover. Nigel Marven makes his adventures so much fun, keeping his audience engaged.  Dinomite's favorite aspect of this movie is the section about Sea Monsters!  I learned so much from watching this movie with him!

Prehistoric Park is a children's version of Jurassic Park done in several episodes.  Nigel Marven goes back in time to bring back dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures for his park.  Every trip back into time brings fun new adventures for him, and for others who help work in the park.  As mentioned above, Dinomite fell in love with this serious at the age of 5.  Rest assured there is no violence to worry about.

I have not watched this movie yet, but I'm sure it's just as great as the others.  The reviews are quite complimentary.  Dinomite can't wait for it to arrive!

For those interested in the free printable pack, click on the link below!

If you're interested in more prehistoric life activities, be sure to check out this unit!

This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Learning Series.  For more ideas about teaching biology, be sure to visit all of the over fabulous posts in the series!


  1. What a great unit study. I'm definitely adding this to our list!

  2. My kids are going to love these books! What a great way to study life. Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. Excellent resource! I'm going to save this for when my son is older!

  4. This is cool! Although, I believe in creationism, this is a great outline for kids about the theory of evolution.

  5. This post reminds me to revisit timeline of life especially of the new discoveries! Again, fantastic collection of ideas! Will borrow some of it for Vito as well :D