Relative dating of rocks activities

Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.Once students begin to grasp "relative" dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of Earth's history.Locally, physical characteristics of rocks can be compared and correlated.On a larger scale, even between continents, fossil evidence can help in correlating rock layers.The Law of Superposition, which states that in an undisturbed horizontal sequence of rocks, the oldest rock layers will be on the bottom, with successively younger rocks on top of these, helps geologists correlate rock layers around the world.This also means that fossils found in the lowest levels in a sequence of layered rocks represent the oldest record of life there.It looks as though one group of layers was tilted and eroded away before new rocks were formed on top.

Extinction of species is common; most of the species that have lived on the earth no longer exist.

| Hi, The fossil cards can be found in the same file as the letter cards from Activity 1.

You get to the same file if you click on the blue link that says fossil cards.

These major concepts are part of the Denver Earth Science Project's "Paleontology and Dinosaurs" module written for students in grades 7-10.

The module is an integrated unit which addresses the following National Science Education Standards: *Science as Inquiry: Students develop the abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry — identify questions, design and conduct scientific investigations, use appropriate tools and technologies to gather, analyze and interpret data, think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations, communicate results, and use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.

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