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Geologic Time Activities


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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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.

Multiple temporal scales of landscapes and landforms
Phil Stokes, The University of Arizona; Marguerite Forest, Florida Gulf Coast University; Steven Semken, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
This exercise provides students with a timescale and list of geomorphic landforms and processes. The activity requires that students utilize their knowledge of process-driving mechanisms to place landforms and ...

The Four-Winged Dinosaur
Tasha Dunn, Illinois State University
This is assignment is completed in two parts: It begins in class with a showing of the Nova documentary "The Four-Winged Dinosaur." It continues as a homework assignment in which students write a short ...

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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.

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

Geologic and Navajo Time Line
Margaret Mayer, Dine College
Students develop a time line using registrar tape and correlating marking off divisions of geologic eras. Above this they develop a Navajo time line of creation. Each week they focusing on the topic (era/period) of ...

An Interactive Game Approach to Learning in Historical Geology and Paleontology
Robert L. Reuss and Anne F. Gardulski (Tufts University)
The instructor uses a series of games to help students identify and answer questions about fossils. The game grows more complex over time as the instructors add rules and phyla to identify. -

Radiometric Dating
Related Links Radioactive Decay Exponential Growth and Decay Peter Kohn - James Madison University Christopher Gellasch - U.S. Military Academy Jim Sochacki - James Madison University Scott Eaton - James Madison University Richard Ford - Weber State University
This activity leads students through derivations of the equations associated with radiometric dating.

GEOLogic: The Big Five Mass Extinctions
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
Students are asked to match up the five largest mass extinction events with their relative dates, approximate duration, and severity (percentage of species that became extinct) based on clues given from various perspectives.

Sedimentation of Mud - Observation and Analysis
Scott Brande, UAB
The process of mud settling in a graduated cylinder was filmed as a time lapse series over about 2 hours. Students observe and analyze the sedimentation process.


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