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William Smith was one of the most important scientists from this time who helped to develop knowledge of the succession of different fossils by studying their distribution through the sequence of sedimentary rocks in southern England.It wasn't until well into the 20th century that enough information had accumulated about the rate of radioactive decay that the age of rocks and fossils in number of years could be determined through radiometric age dating.At the dig site we begin by looking for exposed fossils. We dig slowly and carefully so we don't damage the specimen.Back in the lab, we can study the fossil more closely.The Timeline Reseach project and Conference on the Age of the Earth are designed to give students a visual and kinesthetic picture of the age of the earth.The Radiometric Dating Game and the Class as an Artifact Activity are designed to demonstrate radiometric dating, one technique scientists have used to determine part of the life history of the earth.Explore this link for additional information on the topics covered in this lesson: This activity will help students to have a better understanding of the basic principles used to determine the age of rocks and fossils. Objectives of this activity are: 1) To have students determine relative age of a geologically complex area.

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Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.These activities are designed for use with 5-8th graders.There is an emphasis on inquiry and all activities are tied to the National Science Education Standards.This activity on determining age of rocks and fossils is intended for 8th or 9th grade students.It is estimated to require four hours of class time, including approximately one hour total of occasional instruction and explanation from the teacher and two hours of group (team) and individual activities by the students, plus one hour of discussion among students within the working groups.Teaching about Earth's history is a challenge for all teachers.

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