Heather Petcovic

Western Michigan University

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects


The History of the Earth: Classroom Activity part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
In this classroom activity, students first use an interview with an older adult to construct a timescale. Students use criteria of their choosing to divide the timescale into periods, then compare and contrast timescales among the class. Students are next given important events in the history of the earth and are invited to first develop a scaled representation of the earth's history based on their prior knowledge. Students then use classroom and Internet resources to place the same events in the proper order and at the correct locations along the timescale. Finally, students investigate the geologic timescale and place eons and eras of geologic time on the same scale as earth events. Comparisons are drawn between the human life timescale and geologic time. For assessment, the instructor grades written student responses to questions in the student course pack. The student course pack activity and instructor notes are provided. Learn more about the course for which this activity was developed.


Western Michigan University: Earth Science for Elementary Educators II part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Courses
This laboratory-based course is specifically designed for prospective elementary teachers and covers physical/historical geology content with reference to state elementary (K-8) benchmarks. The objectives of the course are to aid students in developing meaningful and functional understanding of key earth science concepts and their interrelations; to provide students with open-ended problems solving environments that facilitate insight in the nature of science as an intellectual activity; to explore alternate conceptions of scientific phenomena; to help students develop more positive attitudes about science and increase their confidence in their ability to do science. For Dr. Petcovic's reflections on the course and its design, see Earth Science for Elementary Educators II: Role in the program.

Other Contribution

Lesson Plan Experiences in Science Content Courses part of Teacher Preparation:Workshops and Activities:Workshop 2007
Earth Science for Elementary Teachers - Including Lesson Design Group Members Heather Petcovic, Earth Science for Elementary Educators II Ann Bykerk-Kauffman, Concepts in Earth and Space Sciences Elizabeth ...

Events and Communities

Teacher Preparation Workshop 2007 Participants: Leader

Using Data in the Classroom 2006 Workshop Participants