What is relative dating

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Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.

The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.

Relative dating methods allow one to determine if an object is earlier than, later than, or contemporary with some other object.

Once they are able to manipulate the cards into the correct sequence, they are asked to do a similar sequencing activity using fossil pictures printed on "rock layer" cards.

Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.

However, "relative" dating or time can be an easy concept for students to learn.

In this activity, students begin a sequencing activity with familiar items — letters written on cards.

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