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Teaching Activities


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Depositional Environments and Geologic History Labs
Maria Waller, Wellesley College; Kathy Gilbert, Wellesley College
This is a pair of labs that incrementally prepare students to interpret the geologic history of a rock sequence. The first lab introduces students to depositional environments and fossils. The second lab presents a ...

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Radiocarbon dating project
Mark Schmitz, Boise State University
This is an example of an activity used in a Quaternary Geochronology course, in which a small group of students (3-4) is tasked with transforming a set of activity measurements into radiocarbon ages and calibrated ...

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The Evolution of Earth through Time
Phil Stokes, The University of Arizona
This activity is designed for large freshman courses (>200 students) and is used in-class. The activity requires a short (15 minute) overview of Earth history before students have the opportunity to work through ...

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Hierarchical Alignment of Timelines
ilyse resnick, Temple University
In the hierarchical alignment activity students progressively and hierarchically align scale information to a spatial linear representation. The progressive alignment of scales may alleviate the conceptual ...

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M & M Decay
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
This is a simulation of radioactive decay which illustrates what a half-life is and explains some of the challenges involved with radiometric dating. Pennies or other cheap coins can be substituted for M&Ms if ...

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Biozones, stratigraphic log correlation, and corresponding interpretation of paleoenvironments.
Francis Jones, University of British Columbia
This exercise is a guided opportunity for any number of students (even hundreds) to start using recently learned, lower-level knowledge about stratigraphy and biostratigraphy in an integrative, interpretation ...

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Radiometric Dating Isochron exercise
John Weber, Grand Valley State University
Hands-on introduction to using the isochron method to determine radiometric ages.

Dating Students: Relative vs. Numerical Time
Susan Zimmerman, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
This activity introduces students to the fundamental ideas of relative versus radiometric dating, using the students themselves as a sample population. In the first half, the students attempt to order the people in ...

Relative Age Correlation
Gwen Daley, Winthrop University
Students learn to apply basic correlation principles to geologic cross-sections.

Personal Timeline
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
Students start this worksheet by listing the most important events in their own lives, plotting them on a timeline, and then doing the same with Earth history events. Usually, their personal timelines will resemble ...

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