Historical Geology Reconstruction Analogy
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
Course: Introduction to Historical Geology
Before class, I make up a sentence and cut it up into pieces of the individual words. I hand out these groups of words (up-side-down) to groups of students and have them flip over 5 pieces and make a story. I then have them flip over 5 more pieces and make a story. They continue until all the pieces are flipped over, and we then discuss how this applies to Historical Geology:
- there is no one correct interpretation
- we don't know the right answer
- the more you learn, the more complete the story is
- some information is more important than others...
I think this exercise gives students a better understanding of how interpretation of the earth's history works. They also meet each other and have some fun on the first day.
I learned this activity from the workshop: Dinosaurs: Science Behind the Stories at GSA in October 2003 led by Judy Scotchmoor and Dale Springer.