Clock of Eras

Clock of Eras

I love teaching Montessori History. There is nothing like seeing the children's reactions when you unwind the timeline of history and see the children's faces. While the Great Stories are essential to Montessori there are not always easy to use resources that we can use for follow up or that meet the needs of today's children!



The Clock of Eras is presented after the First Great Lesson and Laws of the Universe.

You will need:

A circular shaped cardboard marked with the different areas.

-Hadean (Precambrian) 

-Archean  (Precambrian)

-Proterozoic  (Precambrian - when early life happened)




The intervals are an indication of the approximate time that each geological interval has lasted on earth in relationship to other times. 

You may also want a long piece of card with the same colours to show in a linear fashion.




  1. Display the circular Clock of Eras chart.
  2. Say that this is a clock shape, discuss what students know about how many minutes are on a clock or time generally
  3. Each hour represents a very long period of time 375 000 000 years
  4. During the Precambrian earth was formed. The Precambrian  is divided into three periods. At the beginning It was a sphere of gas. The gas got cold and condensed and went back down to earth.
  5. You may want to present the Cosmic Dance chart, Experiments from the Laws of the Universe 18-20
  • Under the cool earth was hot liquid and gas that erupted and made huge clouds of ashes it helped cool the earth by blocking out the sun.
  • The rain fell on the very hot earth and it very quickly evaporated. Slow the earth's crust got cooler and cooler and the rain turned into oceans and lakes. 
  • The earth then became able to support very simple life this time was called the Proterozoic
  1. Paleozoic Era (Blue) This area was when there was a lot of life in the sea. There was bacteria and protista invertebrates and vertebrates in the sea. Towards the end of this time there were reptiles on the land. 
  2. Mesozoic (Brown) This area lasted about 185 million years, it was the time of the dinosaurs 
  3. Cenozoic Era (Green) This period began about 65 million years. It is knwon as the Age of Mammals. 
  4. Have an unlabelled  circular diagram. Give out labels and have students place them in the right place. 
  5. Have a long strip of paper put it around the outside of the circular diagram. Mark it at the different divisions. Now lay it flat and then match the labels to the flat diagram. 
- Comparing the sectors of the clock to the Timelines so that students can see the connection 
- Having students reconstruct the clock using a cut up Clock of Eras
- Giving students a blank clock and have them write in it things that happened during the different times , the students can use the Timelines to help
Finding books that are relevant and engaging is always a great way to go with follow up activities. For the timeline of life I recommend these books:
When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life Long Before Dinosaurs
When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life before Dinosaurs
How do we highlight the keep points of the Timeline of Life story to Children? There are not many Montessori Activities around for follow up work for the Clock of Eras. This means I always spent a lot of time trying to source things that worked!  Here are some activities I have made that follow Montessori principles and can be added to your classroom with minimal fuss! 
Get this Clock of Eras freebie emailed to you It works great as a follow up provocation to the Clock of Eras lessons 


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Thanks for Lovely work


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