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Timeline of the Wollemi

Create a timeline for the Wollemi Pine

Context

For a species to survive virtually unchanged for 200 million years is an amazing feat. Most species either go extinct due to changes in the environment, or adapt and become new species. The Wollemi Pine has survived many large-scale environmental changes over a very long period of time. Our special grove of ancient trees is growing in a deep sandstone gorge, a tiny remnant of their natural warm temperate rainforest habitat.

Aim:

Use natural resources to create a timeline which highlights key events in the life of the Wollemi Pine.
This will work best as a class or group activity. 

Materials:

  • Chalk
  • Loose natural parts (twigs, leaves, rocks etc)
  • 30 cm ruler
  • Trundle wheel or long tape measure
  • A copy of a timeline event card (here)

Method:

  1. Draw the timeline - Use a trundle wheel and chalk to mark out a 20 metre line along a concrete surface. 
  2. Mark out each interval - Along the line mark every metre and label it (1 metre = 10 million years). The start should be 200 MYA (million years ago) and the last is the present day.
  3. Use the timeline event card - Place the timeline event card at the correct location on the line. 
  4. Collect natural loose materials - Explore the school or backyard and collect some rocks, sticks or leaves etc.
  5. Create a story - Visit a timeline event card on the timeline and use the natural products to create a story or mural that represents that event (each group can do one location each). Symbols are a good way to represent different objects. 
  6. Travel the timeline - Walk the timeline from 200MYA until the present. Each group can explain what is going on or guess what symbols are being represented.