Rock Back in Time

Rock Back in Time
Publication Date: January, 2005
Type of Resource: Interactive/Simulation

In this online learning object, users can choose a rock sample and find out how it was formed millions of years ago.

For example, they can see how coal was formed in a swampy forest. They can also explore the Earth’s surface at the time when the rock formed and look at maps, landscapes, living things and environments associated with the time and location. The site can also be used to compare temperatures and sea levels with those of today and explore how geological forces are changing the Earth’s surface. 

Educational value statement

This resource covers the following:

  • Models changes to the Earth’s surface over geological time and relates them to plate tectonics;
  • Includes numerous maps showing geological features of the Australian continent at geologically small time intervals (around 10 million years);
  • Contains illustrations and descriptions of environments and living things belonging to each geological period or era;
  • Enables students to compare time zones and record sea levels and temperatures;
  • Illustrates continental drift resulting from plate movements;
  • Contains detailed information about geological time, plate tectonics and ancient environments;
  • Includes a glossary and challenge questions;

Key learning objectives:

  • Students explore changes in the Australian landmass, environments and living things over the last 545 million years;
  • Students compare climatic conditions and sea levels over geological time;
  • Students relate geological changes in the Earth’s surface to plate tectonics;
  • Students identify major periods in the geological time scale;

Additional Information

This learning object is one of a series of three objects. The other are:

This learning object uses Flash technology and therefore doesn't work on the Apple iPad.

The Minerals Council of Australia is acknowledged as the provider of this resource. 


Australian Curriculum:
  • Year 9 > Science Understanding > Earth and Space Sciences > The theory of plate tectonics explains global patterns of geological activity... > ACSSU180