I always thought it put things into perspective if, instead of the Gregorian Calendar, we had a kind of "absolute" timeline, going all the way back to the big bang, as well as we can define it as of today, in 2012.
Of course, this would be ridiculously impractical (today's date would be something like year 13,749,999,999.) I only mean this as a learning tool, and to point out just how relatively few years written history has been around.
My question is, do you agree that this would be a helpful learning tool for students to comprehend a kind of birds-eye-view of the timeline?
Here's an example of what I'm talking about. The column on the left would be the year the event on the right-hand column occured:
1 The Big Bang 9,150,000,000 Earth forms 10,150,000,000 simple cells 10,350,000,000 photosynthesis 11,750,000,000 complex cells 12,750,000,000 multicellular life 13,150,000,000 animals 13,250,000,000 fish 13,275,000,000 land plants 13,350,000,000 insects and seeds 13,390,000,000 amphibians 13,450,000,000 reptiles 13,550,000,000 mammals 13,600,000,000 birds 13,620,000,000 flowers 13,685,000,000 dinosaurs die out 13,747,500,000 genus Homo appears 13,749,800,000 modern humans appear 13,749,975,000 Neanderthals disappear 13,749,994,488 writing begins 13,749,995,000 civilization begins along the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia, along the Nile, along the Indus River 13,749,995,988 recorded history (writing down history) HISTORY begins 13,749,997,988 christ is born 13,749,999,999 today
Really puts things into perspective, doesn't it? Do you agree or do you think this would just be confusing to kids? Thanks for the feedback.