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    Reletive dating

    Once students begin to grasp "relative" dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of Earth's history.Long before geologists tried to quantify the age of the Earth they developed techniques to determine which geologic events preceded another, what are termed "relative age” relationships.Teaching about Earth's history is a challenge for all teachers.Time factors of millions and billions of years is difficult even for adults to comprehend.Once they are able to manipulate the cards into the correct sequence, they are asked to do a similar sequencing activity using fossil pictures printed on "rock layer" cards.

    In this activity, students begin a sequencing activity with familiar items — letters written on cards.Picture from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age, (i.e. In geology, rock or superficial deposits, fossils and lithologies can be used to correlate one stratigraphic column with another.Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.Now imagine that you come upon a formation like this: What do you think of it? How can you make any conclusions about rock layers that make such a crazy arrangement?Geologists establish the age of rocks in two ways: numerical dating and relative dating.Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.Relative dating cannot establish absolute age, but it can establish whether one rock is older or younger than another.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!Fossils are important for working out the relative ages of sedimentary rocks.Throughout the history of life, different organisms have appeared, flourished and become extinct.These strata make up much of the famous prominent rock formations in widely spaced protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

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