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This lesson shows students that age-dating rocks involves counting atoms and comparing the counts. Students use simulated rock samples, which show a highly magnified selection of 128 atoms, each sample with a different proportion of the atoms of two different elements: a parent radioisotope, and its daughter product. By counting the parent radioactive atoms and knowing the half-life of those atoms, ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (1)
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This lesson will inform students about the high level of confidence we have in the geological ages of an old Earth. At the same time, it should reveal an example of pseudoscience, which should be part of any effort to improve science literacy and critical thinking. Students are taken through a combination of background information and interactive experiences, and checked frequently by questions to ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Assessments: Read (1)
Misconceptions: Read (1)
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This lesson discusses the clear evidence of geological events over many millions of years. Students count the number of varves (annual layers of sediment) in shale billets, taken from the Green River Formation in Wyoming. The count is then extended to reflect the entire 260 meters of sediments where the billets originated, a period of approximately 2 million years. This provides a tangible experience ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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These procedures for creating a timeline from the Big Bang to the present include directions and images suitable for all major events in time, downloadable so they can be copied and made available to students to build. Scale is 1 mm = 1 million years. Users have the option of starting at the Big Bang or the beginning of our solar system. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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DLESE Community Collection (DCC)    Browse collection
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In this lesson students will experience how geological and biological events have occurred in a clear sequence of vast but measured time. Students are taken on a simulated voyage backward in time, to the beginning of our planet. They witness that beginning, the origin of life, and a number of key events leading to the present. This becomes a dramatic experience, involving body and mind, helping students ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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DLESE Community Collection (DCC)    Browse collection
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In this lesson, students will learn that geological time can be measured in several different ways, providing independent lines of evidence for measuring deep time and sequencing geological and biological events of the past. Students explore different methods of measuring geological time, comparing the time dimensions, mechanisms, and materials used for each. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (1)
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This resource is included in the following collections:
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This earth history timeline activity relates events in the geologic past to distances measured on a piece of adding machine tape. Further activities are used to help the students visualize the sequence and spacing of the events. The site also contains numerous and varied links that will aid both the teacher and students in performing this activity. These links lead to detailed information on the stratigraphy, ... Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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This lesson develops the idea that carbon dating is based on gathering evidence in the present and extrapolating it to the past. Students will use a simple graph to extrapolate data to its starting point. This lesson is the third in a three-part series about the nucleus, isotopes, and radioactive decay. Students will be asked to consider the case of when Frosty the Snowman met his demise (began to ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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This activity has students compare the magnitude of geologic time with spans of time in a person's lifetime, which is often difficult for many students. They use a long paper strip and a reasonable scale to represent visually all of geologic time, including significant events in the development of life on earth as well as recent human events. This activity provides students with an opportunity to ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Guide for instructor
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Assessments: Read (1)
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This time line lays out Earth's history within a 24-hour time period, from Earth's formation out of stellar dust up to the last Ice Age. Elementary, middle and even high school students will be surprised to discover that the most familiar human history is not even on the time line because it took place in the final second. The time line illustrates that if earths history had unfolded on one single ... Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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This resource is included in the following collections:
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