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Fossil dating activity

These activities are designed for use with 5-8th graders.

There is an emphasis on inquiry and all activities are tied to the National Science Education Standards.

To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.

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It is estimated to require four hours of class time, including approximately one hour total of occasional instruction and explanation from the teacher and two hours of group (team) and individual activities by the students, plus one hour of discussion among students within the working groups.Explore this link for additional information on the topics covered in this lesson: This activity will help students to have a better understanding of the basic principles used to determine the age of rocks and fossils. Objectives of this activity are: 1) To have students determine relative age of a geologically complex area.2) To familiarize students with the concept of half-life in radioactive decay.This page contains activities and infomation about dating fossils and placing them in the context of the history of life on Earth. During its lifetime the earth has been the setting for countless interesting geological and biological events.As a result, it is covered in fossils and relics that tell its life-story.Our goal is to determine what kind of animal it was and when it lived.Want to find out how the history of life is written in the rocks? Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.

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