Fossil Dating and the Geological Timeline

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This page contains activities and infomation about dating fossils and placing them in the context of the history of life on Earth. Our earth is hundreds of millions of years old. 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. From radioisotopes in rock layers to biological fossils, there are many clues scientists use to understand what happened on Earth and when.

The activities on this page are designed to help students begin to understand the age of the earth. The Timeline Reseach project and Conference on the Age of the Earth are designed to give students a visual and kinesthetic picture of the age of the earth. The Radiometric Dating Game and the Class as an Artifact Activity are designed to demonstrate radiometric dating, one technique scientists have used to determine part of the life history of the earth. 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.

The Background Information section gives some information and factual background teachers can use in furthering their own understanding of carbon dating and the history of geology and biology on Earth.

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Lesson Plans

Timeline Research Project

Class Conference on the Age of the Earth

Radiometric Dating Activity

Class as an Artifact Dating Activity

 

Background Information for Teachers

 

Links to other Fossil Websites

 

 

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