Relative dating practice

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

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

*Life Science: Fossils indicate that many organisms that lived long ago are extinct.

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

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.

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