About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Geologic Time chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||Geologic time scale||Studying strata, the major timeline divisions|
|Tuesday||Geological evolution theories and methods of geological dating||Georges Cuvier, James Hutton, gradualism, Charles Lyell; stratigraphic succession, fossil succession, absolute age, radioactive decay|
|Wednesday||Numerical and relative dating||Stratigraphic succession, horizontal sedimentary rock layers, layer positions|
|Thursday||Radiometric dating||Radiometric dating, nuclides, alpha, beta and gamma decay; half-life, uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating, radiocarbon dating|
|Friday||Fossil preservation conditions and relative dating with fossils||Transformation of remains, protective substances, likelihood of preservation, strata order, relatively short existence|
1. Geologic Time Scale: Major Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs
The geologic time scale is an essential tool for understanding the history of Earth and the evolution of life. In this lesson, explore the principal eons, eras, periods, and epochs that help us track major events in geologic history.
2. Theories of Geological Evolution: Catastrophism vs Uniformitarianism
Geologists haven't always agreed about the history of our planet. They have debated between catastrophism and uniformitarianism over the last few hundred years! Learn about the two main theories of geologic evolution and how scientists came to resolve the dispute.
3. Methods of Geological Dating: Numerical and Relative Dating
Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils. We'll explore both relative and numerical dating on our quest to understand the process of geological dating. Along the way, we'll learn how stratigraphic succession and radioactive decay contribute to the work of paleontologists.
4. What is Relative Dating? - Law of Superposition, Principles of Original Horizontality & Cross-Cutting Relationships
Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age. Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past. We'll even visit the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the Great Unconformity!
5. Principles of Radiometric Dating
Radiometric dating is a method used to determine the age of rocks and other materials based on the rate of radioactive decay. Learn about three common types of radioactive decay: alpha decay, beta decay and gamma decay.
6. Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life
Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes. Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson.
7. Conditions of Fossil Preservation: Rapid Burial, Hard Parts & the Elements
Learn how fossils are formed and how varying conditions affect the preservation of organisms. What is the best way for a dinosaur to become fossilized? Find out here!
8. Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time
You may already know how to date a fossil with a rock. But did you know that we can also date a rock with a fossil? Watch this video to find out how we use index fossils to establish the relative ages of rocks.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Physical Science Curriculum Resource & Lesson Plans course
- Understanding Matter Lesson Plans
- Understanding Gases Lesson Plans
- Understanding the Atom & Atomic Structure Lesson Plans
- The Periodic Table Lesson Plan Resource
- Understanding Chemical Bonding Lesson Plans
- Understanding Solutions Lesson Plans
- Stoichiometry Lesson Plan Resource
- Acids, Bases and Chemical Reactions Lesson Plans
- Atomic and Nuclear Physics Lesson Plans
- Understanding Motion Lesson Plans
- Force, Motion, and Newton's Laws Lesson Plans
- Work, Energy, Power, and Thermodynamics Lesson Plans
- Waves and Sound in Physical Science Lesson Plan Resources
- Light in Physical Science Lesson Plan Resources
- Electricity Lesson Plan Resources
- Thermal Physics Lesson Plan Resources
- Magnetism Lesson Plan Resources
- Intro to Organic Chemistry Lesson Plan Resources
- The Universe Lesson Plan Resources
- Atmospheric Science Lesson Plan Resources
- The Internal Structure of the Earth Lesson Plans
- Plate Tectonics Lesson Plan Resources
- Minerals and Rocks Lesson Plan Resources
- Igneous Rocks Lesson Plan Resources
- Sedimentary Rocks - A Deeper Look Lesson Plans
- Volcanoes Lesson Plan Resources
- Earthquakes Lesson Plan Resources
- Weathering and Erosion Lesson Plan Resources
- Water Balance Lesson Plan Resources
- Ground Water Lesson Plan Resources
- Coastal Hazards Lesson Plan Resources