Start Diagrams for relative dating

Diagrams for relative dating

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

INTRODUCTION Scientists have good evidence that the earth is very old, approximately four and one-half billion years old.

Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age.

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.

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.

Teaching about Earth's history is a challenge for all teachers.

Time factors of millions and billions of years is difficult even for adults to comprehend.

However, "relative" dating or time can be an easy concept for students to learn.

PALEONTOLOGY, AND in particular the study of dinosaurs, is an exciting topic to people of all ages.

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.

By matching partial sequences, the truly oldest layers with fossils can be worked out.