Lesson plan relative dating


This is a collaborative effort between Melanie Mc Williams, a high school Earth and Planetary Science teacher at Chula Vista High School in San Diego, California, and Jamie A.

Russell, a masters student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in La Jolla.

Activities work well for small groups of students working at computers together.

Class discussions with demonstrations of on-line resources projected for classroom viewing are also effective.

There are four lessons on Fossils: Students will understand that: - Fossils provide evidence for past life Additionally, they will be able to identify different types of fossils, understand how they are formed, and where they are likely to be found Resources used: Understanding Geologic Time (longer lesson) Fossils Help us Learn about the Past (shorter lesson) Playing Paleotopia (lesson extension) Note: This is a PDF file and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader Students will understand that: - Some fossils are found in environments that differ from where they lived - Similar fossils are found in widely separated places - The distribution of fossils gives evidence for plate tectonics If the entire sequence of lessons is followed, then there are no prerequisites to this series of lessons.


In doing this exercise, the students will recreate the ancient land mass called Gondwanaland.Class discussion will elicit from students the understanding that the location of the continents during the period of time these organisms lived is not the same as their current locations.



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