Ch 2: Geological Dating Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Geological Dating chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the students in your classroom about the geologic time scale, radiometric dating principles and other topics. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Geological Dating 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;
Theories of Geological Evolution
Strata, the division of time, and the geologic time scale;
Culver's geologic catastrophe theory, Hutton's gradualism theory
Tuesday Methods of Geological Dating;
Relative Dating
Determining the age of fossils and rocks;
Changes in rock strata, the formation of rock strata, and its interior contents
Wednesday Principles of Radiometric Dating The processes of radioactive decay, alpha decay, gamma decay and beta decay
Thursday Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses and the Significance of Half-Life The half-life of the isotope, determining the age of rocks through radiometric dating, calculating the age of plants and trees through radiocarbon dating
Friday Conditions of Fossil Preservation;
Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time
The preservation of teeth, bones and claws, and rapid burial in silt, mud or sand;
Relative dating with index fossils, and determining the age of rocks using the principle of fossil succession

9 Lessons in Chapter 2: Geological Dating Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Geologic Time Scale: Major Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs

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.

Theories of Geological Evolution: Catastrophism vs Uniformitarianism

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.

Methods of Geological Dating: Numerical and Relative Dating

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.

What is Relative Dating? - Law of Superposition, Principles of Original Horizontality & Cross-Cutting Relationships

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!

Principles of Radiometric Dating

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.

Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life

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.

Conditions of Fossil Preservation: Rapid Burial, Hard Parts & the Elements

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!

Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time

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.

What is Pangaea? - Theory & Definition

9. What is Pangaea? - Theory & Definition

The continents you know have existed for a long time, but not in their current locations. In fact, over 200 million years ago Pangaea broke apart by plate tectonic movement to form the continents we see today.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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