Fossils and The Law of Superposition Liz LaRosa 5 th Grade Science 2009http://www.middleschoolscience.com This PPT was.

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Fossils and The Law of Superposition Liz LaRosa 5 th Grade Science http://www.middleschoolscience.com 2009http://www.middleschoolscience.com This PPT was created with the information from the FOSREC Activity “Who’s on First?” and “Fossil Inferences” by UEN.FOSRECFossil Inferences

Learning Target 5b) I can define index fossil and describe how they can be used to correlate rock layers in different locations (DOK 1). 5c) I can describe how index fossil information can be combined with absolute dating data to assign ages to time periods (DOK 1). 5d) I can create a time range diagram of index fossils given data and interpret a time range diagram in order to determine the age of a rock layer (DOK 2). 5f) I can identify and analyze key strengths and limitations to using index fossils in relative dating (DOK 2).

Essential Question How do scientists use index fossils to build a model of the Earth’s history?

Fossils and Superposition What is a fossil? The trace or remains of an organism that lived long ago, most commonly preserved in sedimentary rock What is a superposition? Younger rocks lie above older rocks if the layers have not been disturbed

Relative Dating and Index Fossils What is relative dating? ◦ Any method of determining whether an event or object is older or younger than other events or objects. What is an index fossil? ◦ A fossil that is found in the rock layers of only one geologic age and is used to establish the age of the rock layers. ◦ Is found in rock layers around the world, ex Trilobites

Activity # 1 On your desk, you have 8 large colored index cards with nonsense letters placed on them. Your task is to determine what the correct sequence of the letters are. You have two clues: 1.The card with the letters “C” and “T” is on the bottom, or the oldest layer 2.Look for a card that has either a “T” or “C” written on it for the second layer

C T AGC UA NBU NB ON DXO MD This is one possible way to arrange the cards. Questions: 1.What letter is the oldest? 2.What letter is the youngest? 3.What letter showed up the most? 4.Which letters only showed up once? 5.Which letters could be index fossils? 6.How did you know which was older: “M” or “X”?

Activity # 2 Flip your eight index cards over Arrange the index cards that represent layers of rock and fossils Clues: 1.The oldest layer has the letter “M” in it 2.Find a rock layer that has at least one of the fossils you found in the oldest rock layer 3.Extinction is forever - once an organism disappears from the sequence it cannot reappear later

Teacher Note: I replaced the letters with nonsense letters b/c spelling the word “organism” was too easy for my 5 th graders

To think about… What problems did you run into when trying to arrange the fossils into the correct sequence? Would this have been more difficult if you did not know which layer was the oldest to start the activity? Which organism is the most complex of all the fossils and why?

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