About This Chapter
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; |
| 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
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.
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.
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