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Determining the Age of Rocks and Fossils, University of California, Berkeley.
This 9-12-grade activity introduces students to age dating with exercises using relative and absolute dating. Links to various activities and lesson plans concerning relative and absolute dating. Content information about absolute and relative dating methods used by the U.
The idea of radioactive decay and half lives, a type of absolute dating, is shown through an activity using M&M's candy and graph paper. Sequencing Time, University of California, Berkeley. This 5-12-grade activity lets students place parts of their own life story into a time line so that they can better understand how geologic time is reconstructed by scientists.
Who's on First, University of California, Berkeley. This website is a book chapter about geologic time. This online version of their informative booklet contains short, content explanations about relative time, major geologic time divisions, index fossils for use in age dating, radiometric dating and the age of the earth.
Radiometric Dating and the Geologic Time Scale, The Talk Origins Archive. Provides brief overview of (1) relative dating and stratigraphic methods, (2) absolute dating and radiometric dating, including a table with parent to daughter isotopes and half lives of those isotopes commonly used in radiometric dating, (3) paleomagnetics and (4) geologic time. Includes tables of common radioactive parent isotopes and their stable daughter products, and half lives of common radioactive isotopes.
Ask your colleague teaching history: She or he can tell you students have difficulty conceptualizing and contrasting the different historical eras, such as the medieval period in Europe and the colonial period in America.
However, to many middle school students, these answers boil down to variation on a single theme: really old, a long time ago, and for a long time.
In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.
There are two basic approaches: relative age dating, and absolute age dating.