1 The Early Days - PEGSnet

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1 The Early Days - PEGSnet

Episode 1Australia: The Time Traveller’s GuideThe Early DaysA STUDY GUIDE BY CHERYL JAKAB© ATOM 2012http://www.metromagazine.com.auISBN: 978-1-74295-155-3http://www.theeducationshop.com.au


Series synopsisA road trip through the history ofthe Earth as revealed by the lifeand landscape of Australia.Of all continents on Earth,none preserve the storyof the formation of ourplanet and the evolutionof life quite like Australia.Nowhere else can yousimply jump in a car andtravel back through theentire history of the world.‘Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide’takes you on a rollicking adventurefrom the birth of the Earth to theemergence of the world we knowtoday. Buckle up for a rocky ride downthe Road of Time with series host DrRichard Smith. Over four one-hour episodes,we meet titanic dinosaurs andgiant kangaroos, sea monsters andprehistoric crustaceans, disappearingmountains and exploding asteroids.Epic in scope, intimate in nature, thisis the untold story of the land DownUnder, the one island continent thathas got it all. So join the good Doctorfor the ultimate Outback road trip: anexploration of the history of the planetas seen through the mind-altering windowof the Australian continent.This series consists of four one hourepisodes telling the story of our evolvingEarth through a geologist visitingimportant geological sites of Australia.Episode 1 A rollicking ride intoAustralia’s prehistoric past (with hostDr Richard Smith)Episode 2 Adventure deeper intoprehistoric Australia as the conquestof the land beginsEpisode 3 Settle in for a night in theAge of Dinosaurs, Down UnderEpisode 4 From the prehistoric past tothe Australia of todayThe series at a glanceProgram 1Title: The Early daysIn which we buckle-up for a rollickingride into the prehistoric past as hostDr Richard Smith journeys back to theSynopsisCONTENTSSeries curriculum andeducation suitabilityEPISODE 1 THE EARLY DAYSSynopsisBefore viewingDiscussion startersActivitiesResourcesWorksheets and Informationearliest days of ancient Australia.Program 2 Title: The first stepsPresenting the ultimate Outback roadtrip: an adventure through the historyof the Earth as recorded in the rocksand wildlife of Australia.Program 3 Title: The wild yearsIn which we join Dr Richard Smith ashe dodges the dinosaurs and seeksout the sea monsters that inhabitedAustralia during its wildest years.Program 4 Title: The big IslandDr Richard Smith negotiates the twistsand turns that have led from the prehistoricpast to the Australia of today.Curriculum and educationsuitabilityLearning Area: ScienceGeneral understandingsaddressed in the series:- Living things and their environment- Earth’s resources and their uses- Change over timeStrands of the Science NationalCurriculum: Science Understanding(Biological and Earth and spacesciences) ; Science as a HumanEndeavour; Science enquiry skillsAppropriate Levels: Mid primary tosecondary (Years 5 through to 12)Reference: ACARA Learning area: GeographyStrands– SUITABILOTY: RECOMMENDED FOR YEARS 5 -10 –PGxxxxxxxxAbove: ------------------Year 3-6: Landforms and environmentalchangeYear 9: Environmental characteristics:Landscapes and resourcesReference: ACARA SCREEN EDUCATION © ATOM 20122


SPECIFIC ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS: SCIENCE world (ACSHE119) Science UnderstandingScience Inquiry SkillsScience UnderstandingBiological sciences: Living thingshave structural features and adaptationsthat help them to survive in theirenvironment (ACSSU043) Questioning and predicting1. Identify questions and problemsthat can be investigatedscientifically and make predictionsbased on scientificknowledge (ACSIS124)Biological sciences: Ecosystemsconsist of communities of interdependentorganisms and abioticcomponents of the environment;matter and energy flow throughthese systems (ACSSU176)Science UnderstandingBiological sciences: The growth andsurvival of living things are affected bythe physical conditions of their environment(ACSSU094)Earth and space sciences: Suddengeological changes or extremeweather conditions can affect Earth’ssurface (ACSSU096)Science as a HumanEndeavourNature and development of science:Science involves testing predictions bygathering data and using evidence todevelop explanations of events andphenomena (ACSHE098) Science Understanding Biological sciences: Multi-cellularorganisms contain systems of organsthat carry out specialised functionsthat enable them to survive andreproduce (ACSSU150)Earth and space sciences1. Sedimentary, igneous and metamorphicrocks contain mineralsand are formed by processes thatoccur within Earth over a variety oftimescales(ACSSU153)Science as a HumanEndeavourScience Inquiry SkillsScience knowledge can developthrough collaboration and connectingideas across the disciplines ofscience (ACSHE226)Earth and space sciences1. The theory of plate tectonicsexplains global patterns ofgeological activity and continentalmovement(ACSSU180)Science as a HumanEndeavourNature and development of science:Scientific understanding, includingmodels and theories are contestableand are refined over time througha process of review by the scientificcommunity (ACSHE157)Science Inquiry SkillsProcessing and analysing dataand information: Analyse patternsand trends in data, includingdescribing relationships betweenvariables and identifyinginconsistencies (ACSIS169)Biological sciences1. There are differences withinand between groups of organisms;classification helps organisethis diversity (ACSSU111)2. Interactions between organismscan be described in termsof food chains and food webs;human activity can affect theseinteractions (ACSSU112)Science as a HumanEndeavourNature and development of science1. Scientific knowledge changes asnew evidence becomes available,and some scientific discoverieshave significantly changedpeople’s understanding of theIdentify questions and problems thatcan be investigated scientifically andmake predictions based on scientificknowledge (ACSIS139)Evaluating1. Reflect on the method used toinvestigate a question or solvea problem, including evaluatingthe quality of the data collected,and identify improvements to themethod (ACSIS146)2. Use scientific knowledge and findingsfrom investigations to evaluateclaims (ACSIS234)Use knowledge of scientific conceptsto draw conclusions that are consistentwith evidence (ACSIS170) Science UnderstandingBiological sciences: The theory ofevolution by natural selection explainsthe diversity of living thingsand is supported by a range ofscientific evidence (ACSSU185)Earth and space sciences:Global systems, including the carboncycle, rely on interactions involving thebiosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphereand atmosphere (ACSSU189)Left: ------------------SCREEN EDUCATION © ATOM 20123


EPISODE 1:THE EARLY DAYS (1 HOUR)A rollicking ride intoAustralia’s prehistoricpast with hostDr Richard Smith.Episode 1 SynopsisThe moment you start exploringAustralia’s ancient history, it soonbecomes clear that ‘once upon a time’was a very long time ago! Join hostDr Richard Smith as he hurtles backdown the Road of Time to the very beginningof the Australian story. Startingin Western Australia, around four anda half billion years ago (that is a lotof noughts), we encounter the Earthshortly after its fiery birth. It’s a violent,poisonous planet but not all is what itfirst seems. Hidden in the hills here –hills as old as any on the planet – areclues to the mysteries of when theEarth was born, how life first arose,and how it transformed the planet intothe pleasant world we now live on.The first episode of ‘Australia: the TimeTraveller’s Guide’ gets to grips withthe deep past. There’s nothing quitelike taking a drive through 90% of theEarth’s history to get the blood stirring.Australia might not have castlesand coliseums but it is back here in thetwilight of Earth history that the countryreally comes into its own. From the firstsunrise over a smoldering seascapeour journey takes us to the first consolidatedcrust of the newly formed Earth.Yet despite the terror raining from thesky, the unbreathable atmosphere andAbove: ------------------ 1: ------------ 2: ------------ ------------all that boiling rock underfoot, it is herein the earliest days of Western Australiathat Life can be seen to have gained atoehold on the planet. Indeed, in someof the most inhospitable corners of thecontinent today are both the oldestfossilized life forms and their closestsurviving relatives. It seems BeachCulture – at least of the microbial kind- has been alive and well and hangingout on the Australian seaside for farlonger than most of us give it credit for!These first sea-loving Australians werea pivotal part of a biological revolutionthat changed the world. We find thesignature of life in the Precambrianrocks of the Pilbara that speak of theorigin of the oxygenated atmospherewe breathe today and the great ironriches that still lie in the west fromthis time. For so much of our shared1planetary history, the earth was ruledby slime but eventually this greatest ofall empires seeded its own downfall.Life would learn to feed on life andnothing would ever be the same again.It’s in Australia that some of the firstcomplex animals, the enigmaticEdiacarans, began to explore the SouthAustralian shoreline. The episode endswith the ocean brimming with life andthe stage set for conquest of the land.And that land was changing all thewhile. Momentous forces rammed thealready ancient foundation blocks ofAustralia into a great supercontinent,one that would steer our destiny forthe next 500 million years.2Today, Australia is old and red and flatbut it has an extraordinary tale to tell.So join the good Doctor Smith for theultimate Outback road trip: an explorationof the history of the Earth asexperienced through the mind-alteringwindow of the Australian continent.Buckle up for a rocky ride as our journeyaboard this amazing walkaboutcontinent begins…SCREEN EDUCATION © ATOM 20124


1: ------------------ 2: ------------3: ------------ 4: ------------1423Responding to Episode 1BEFORE VIEWINGDiscuss with students how much theyknow about the formation of the Earth,geological time, the ancient history ofthe Australian landscape, fossils androck formation.1. What firsthand experience havestudents had with various parts ofthe Australian continent?What major features can theyname? (eg Uluru, Flinders Ranges)2. How much do they know about oredeposits in Australia? (eg Anyonebeen to Broken Hill?)View a map of Australia to locateplaces named and record featuresassociated. See for instance:Information sheets that studentscould use as reference material eg.· Earthquakes· Iron FactsGeological Society of Australia,Geofacts and Activities for theClassroom Fact-ites or print it out.3. Discuss reasons students cansuggest for the importance ofunderstanding the geological historyof the planet and of Australia.4. Ask students to note any informationthat is they find new/interesting/wonderabout while they viewthe film.VIEWING QUESTIONS ANDDISCUSSION STARTERSThe following is a list of possiblediscussion starters that teachers canconsider using depending on theirstudy focus in using the program.These starters link directly to the activitiesthat follow in this study guide.These questions could be consideredby students during viewing.With Secondary students Years 7-10these questions could be given asa handout with spaces for studentsto record responses during viewing.For primary students Years 5&6 theteacher choose sections of programto view and ask the questions of theirclass or groups after they view thesegment.1. People of science: Who is the presenterof this documentary? Whatstory do you think he is telling?What do you think he is trying toachieve in the programs?2. Thinking about deep time: Howdoes the idea of a time travellingcar assist you in thinking aboutlarge spans of time?3. Geological Time: A number oftimelines showing eras are shownin the program. What do you knowabout geological eras and periods?Have you heard the termsPrecambrian, Ediacran before?How do these terms help us locatethe time being talked about?4. The fossils and rocks: What informationdo the geologists and palaeontologistsget from the rocks?5. Comparisons to life today: Howcan looking at living things todayhelp understand the remains of lifefrom long ago?6. Geologists’ stories: What informationdo Geologists use to tell storiesabout distant time? What dothey ‘see’ in the rocks? What skillsdo they need and know to interpretthe information in the rocks?SCREEN EDUCATION © ATOM 20125


1Activities1. A time travellers timeline: Earth’sturning points(Most Suitable Yrs 7-8 as presented;could be modified for other levels)Timelines help us visualise the verylong lengths of geological time andhelp us order the sequences.2Give out the worksheet 1: A time travellerstimeline: Earth’s turning pointsfor individuals or groups to complete.Other evidence from the programcould be explored in a similar wayindividually, in groups or as a class.Students complete the worksheet bylocating the events, reference observations,dates and time periodsfrom the program to create their owntimeline2. In the rocks. Stored in rocks isevidence of the past(Suitable as class activity Yrs 5 & 6,individual or groups Yrs 7-10) how they formed? In what environment?This activity could be conducted asa class with younger students and3in groups or individually for olderstudents. Hand out Worksheet 2: Inthe rocks.Display images of the fossils in theclassroom. As a class, group or individualrecord information about eachof the fossils shown in the worksheetfrom viewing the program. Include itsmain characteristics, when and howit lived.3. Significant sites(Suitable all year levels depending onlevel of detail)4Places mentioned and visited inEpisode 1include Jack Hills (zircons),Pilbara (iron ore) and Shark Bay (stromatolites),Flinders Ranges (earliestfossils) and Broken Hill (mixed metal1: ------------------ 2: ------------ 3: ------------ 4: ------------SCREEN EDUCATION © ATOM 20126


1: ------------------ 2: ------------ 3: ------------ 4: ------------1ore). As a class create a master maplocating the places visited on a displaymap of Australia. Use the map as acentre of a display of information onthe sites and what is found there andhow this find helps us understandthe deep geological past. Groups ofstudents could choose or be assignedsites/ fossils/ evidence to explore indetail as a project.4. Turning point terms35. My rocky tale(Separate worksheet included forYr 5&6)This activity would best be completedafter the previous activity focussingon the language used in communicatingthe ideas and taking a first personlook at the changes in the planet.2(Most suitable for Yrs 7-10)In episode 1 Dr Smith presents anumber of significant turning points inthe history of the Earth and its life withwonderfully emotive language. Watchthe first few minutes of the programagain to note the style of languageused to carry the point being made.Display the list of quotes on whiteboardfor discussion:- What a ride!- The edge of time- Gravitational cannibalism- Raw ingredients of life- Oxygen revolution- Rusting oceans- Snowball Earth- A garden of strange animalsA) Discuss with the class the sometimesunexpected ‘sayings’ that DrSmith uses in the program to airtheir ideas and views on what DrSmith is referring to in the saying. you heard …?Have students working in groupsto choose one (or more) of the followingcatch phrases that are usedin the program. Groups shoulddiscuss the language use to explainwhat Dr Smith was talking about byrephrasing using their own words.B) Working in groups or individuallyhave students write a short (oneor paragraph)first person accountof their experience of the place asif they were there, not as a personas Dr Smith does, but as if theywere the rock, planet, animal, gas,rust or ore deposit that has leftevidence in the rocks today.4Allow at least 120 minutes for this activityand then provide an opportunityfor students to present either to theclass or to other students or displaytheir work.Hand out Worksheet 3.Alone, in pairs or in small groups,students decide on their own modeof presentation for My rocky tale thatuses the events that came up in theprogram to tell the story.1. Design a poster that has asequencing feature2. You are a journalist writing anarticle about the first episodeof the series Australia: The timetravellers guide. This could befor a school newspaper.For ideas on how to write thearticle, go to .3. Create a PowerPoint of factsiron ore mining.SCREEN EDUCATION © ATOM 20127


ResourcesOnline Resources forstudents and teachersAustralian resources:Geological Society of AustraliaVisit their website at 1. Geofacts and Activities for theClassroomFact-ites provide quick informationand activities for busyteachersInformation sheets that studentscould use as reference materialeg.· Earthquakes· Iron Facts2. Geoscience PathwaysThe GSA supports TheGeoscience Pathways Projectwhich aims to change attitudestowards the Geosciences bydemonstrating their essentialcontribution to modern society.The website has excellentResources for teachers, fromprimary to tertiary.Visit their website at 3. Earth Science AustraliaThe GSA sponsors Earth ScienceAustralia - for people with aninterest in earth science. TheEarth Science Australia websiteprovides information for EarthScience enthusiasts and includesfree cyber-educational materialsand free on-site courses.Visit their website at Australian Museum EducationservicesVisit their website at Geology Rocks DrawingCompetitionThe Australian Museum holdsa drawing competition eachyear to celebrate InternationalEarth science week and to raiseawareness of all things geologic.International Earth scienceweek aims to engage studentsin discovering the Earth sciences,remind people that Earthscience is all around us and tomotivate geoscientists to sharetheir knowledge and enthusiasmabout the Earth, Earth Sciencesand to encourage stewardship ofthe Earth.Minerals and fossils pageVisit their website at [AW – Screengrab from Australianmuseum Minerals and fossils site– see sep file]ESWA Earth Science WesternAustraliaA great range of resources particularlyuseful for this episodeof Australia: The time traveller’sguideInternational resourcesPlanet Earth: Earth sciences forsocietyAn extensive list of EarthSciences education ideasExplorit Science centre interactiveonline exhibitHow old is that bone? InteractiveInformation on radiocarbon datingpresented as an interactivein which students can click tocreate isotopes. Quiz #6The Geological Society of LondonA web-based resource with therock cycle used as the vehiclefor presenting information andactivities on a number of Earthprocesses and products.Age range: 11–14 yo and theirteachersVirtual quarryExcellent set of resources suitablefor all age groups. Includesinteractive that young learnerscan explore.Recommended books:Country: a continent, a scientist & akangaroo. 2004, Tim Flannery.Publisher: Text PublishingCompany, Melbourne ISBN 1920885 76 5Digging up Deep Time, 2005, PaulWillis and Abigail Cornish, ABCBooksDinosaurs in Australia (Mesozoic Lifefrom the Southern Continent),2011 Benjamin P. Kear & RobertJ. Hamilton-Bruce, CSIROPublishing, CollingwoodThe Geology of Australia (secondedition), 2009, David Johnson,Cambridge University Press ISBN978-0-521-767415Nature of Australia: A portrait of theisland continent, 1988, JohnVandenbeld, Williams-Collins &ABC Enterprises ISBN 0 73220003 2The Artist and the Scientists,2010, Peter Trussler. PatriciaVickers-Rich, Thomas H. Rich,Cambridge University PressThe Bone Readers, 2009, ClaudioTuniz, Richard Gillespie andCheryl Jones, Allen & UnwinThe Rise of Fishes, 1995. John Long,UNSW PressThe Voyage of the Great SouthernArk, 1988. Reg & MaggieMorrison, Lansdowne Press ISBN0 7018 2005 5Recommended magazines/journals:Cosmos (www.CosmosMagazine.com)Australian Age of Dinosaurs (email:info@australianageofdinosaurs.com)SCREEN EDUCATION © ATOM 20128


This study guide was produced by ATOM. (© ATOM 2012)ISBN: 978-1-74295-155-3 editor@atom.org.auFor more information on SCREEN EDUCATION magazine,or to download other study guides for assessment,visit .Join ATOM’s email broadcast list for invitations tofree screenings, conferences, seminars, etc.Sign up now at .For hundreds of articles on Film as Text,Screen Literacy, Multiliteracy and Media Studies,visit .SCREEN EDUCATION © ATOM 20129

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