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||The geologic time scale||The Precambrian and Phanerozoic eons; the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras; periods and epochs|
|Tuesday||Geological evolution||The theory of catastrophism and the theory of uniformitarianism|
|Wednesday||Relative dating||Stratigraphic succession, the principle of original horizontality, the law of superposition, the principle of cross-cutting relationships|
|Thursday||Numerical dating||Parent and daughter nuclides, half-life and the types of radioactive decay, radiometric dating methods|
|Friday||The use of index fossils||The effects of rapid burial and the elements on fossil preservation, the principle of fossil succession and the correlation of rocks and index fossils|
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.
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Other chapters within the Physical Geology Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course
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