Activity 8 3 absolute dating of rocks and fossils
At the end of the lesson each student will be presented with his/her own fossil.
This fossil will have information containing how much of the parent and daughter isotopes were found as well as the accepted half-life of the radioactive isotope.
This lesson is geared to help take the "mystery" out of scientific dating of rocks and fossils.
Engagement Have students work in groups of 2-3 per group.
Pacing/Suggested Time: Three class periods (approximately 45-50 minutes for each period).
Radioactive Dating Assessment Worksheet The activity worksheets need to be created by the teacher with information based off of the websites.
After this lesson students will have an understanding of how materials undergo radioactive decay and that the rate of decay allows scientists to predict the approximate age of the specimen.
Stress the fact radioactive decay is not random and is highly predictable based upon past empirical data.
The small beads and M&Ms could be choking hazards or a projectile hazard.
Before the lesson, the teacher should copy the data tables found in Figures 2 and 3 (on the website) and paste the tables to a student worksheet so that the students have a place to record their data.
On the back of the worksheet the teacher should copy and paste the three after-activity questions found next to Figure 3 on the website.
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Once all individual data are recorded have participants share their data in a way that all participants can observe (on a large white board) so that a class average can be calculated.