Carbon dating lesson plans

They will view a video lesson, participate in three hands-on activities, and take a related follow-up quiz to test them on main concepts. Learning Objectives After studying this lesson, your students will be able to: Determine what a half-life is and how it relates to carbon dating Explain how the basic process of carbon dating works Name some items that can be analyzed by carbon dating Length Instructions Inform your students they will be studying carbon dating. Display the image of Willard Libby.

Ask your students if anyone is familiar with Libby or his work. Review the vocabulary terms. Start the video lesson What is Carbon Dating: What are two examples of items that can be tested using carbon dating?


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  • Radiometric Dating ( Lesson Plans ) | Earth Science | CK Foundation.

What is another name for carbon dating? Does carbon date things that once were alive? Which scientist developed carbon dating?

Half-life and carbon dating - Nuclear chemistry - Chemistry - Khan Academy

What prize did he win? How old can materials be that are tested by carbon dating? Now, restart the video and pause this time at 2: To what does the term half-life refer? What is the half-life of carbon?

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Next, restart the video and pause again at 4: How is carbon formed in the atmosphere? How are the carbon cycle and photosynthesis related? Can you name five uses for carbon dating? What famous king's remains were tested by carbon dating? After which decade did carbon dating become commonplace? Lastly, restart the video and view the section 'Lesson Summary.

Have your students take the lesson quiz to demonstrate their understanding of the fundamentals of the lesson. Try it risk-free No obligation, cancel anytime. Want to learn more? Select a subject to preview related courses: Activity One Inform your students they will be playing a '15 Questions' type game involving carbon dating. Divide your students up into pairs.

Radiometric Dating

Ask the following questions and have the pairs use the text lesson or the Internet to find the answers. Ethiopian stone tools from about 2. Howard Carter in the year 11 When oxygen reacts with carbon what is formed? Divide your students up into small groups of Hand out two rolls pennies per group.

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Write on the board two columns side-by-side. The column to the left should read 'Half-Life. Groups, take all pennies from your rolls and place them on the table. Next, write a '1' in the first column, and a '50' in the second column. Groups, now take away 50 pennies. How many pennies do you have left? Groups, now take away 25 pennies.

Groups, now take away 13 pennies. Groups, now take away 6 pennies. Groups, now take away 3 pennies. Groups, now take away 2 pennies. Does anyone have further questions or comments? Don't forget to collect all your pennies! Activity Three Explain to your students they are going to draw a picture of King Tutankhamun King Tut , who is one of the most famous examples of the uses of carbon dating.

Hand out colored markers and one large sheet of poster board per student. Display an image of King Tut. The students can also utilize other various images of King Tut that are available on the Internet. You may turn your poster board horizontal or vertical to draw your image. Don't worry if you are not a good artist.


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Have fun and be creative. Your picture does not have to look exactly like the famous images of King Tut. How old was King Tut when he became king? Extensions Willard Libby is the famous scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his research involving carbon dating. Write a one-page paper detailing the life of the innovative thinker. Students will develop an understanding of how fossils give scientists clues as to what the early Earth was like in the past.

Students will also show how fossils can be used to relatively date rock layers using the Law of Superposition and index fossils. This lesson is meant to illustrate how we can use these layers to discover the relative age of an object found in that layer by utilizing the Law of Superposition. This is the first lesson in a unit of 4 lessons that integrates science, math, and computer science standards to teach the concept of half-lives and radioactive dating. This is Lesson 2 in the Radioactive Dating Unit and will begin the experience in coding a program to illustrate student understanding of radioactive dating.

This is the final lesson in the Radioactive Dating Unit.

Frosty the Snowman Meets His Demise: An Analogy to Carbon Dating - Science NetLinks

This decision requires an understanding of the concept of a half-life and the benefits and limitations of radiometric dating. Students must complete mathematical calculations involving equations and operations with fractions and percentages. Students completing this MEA must develop two essays that respond in a professional manner to a client in the scientific industry. Students will investigate the correlation between rock layers and fossil age. Students will also become familiar with the Law of Superposition and apply to finding the relative age of excavated "fossils". At the conclusion of this lesson, students will understand the term half-life and know how to utilize a graph of radioactive decay to approximate the age of a "fossil".

This activity involves recording and graphing data as well as a short data analysis segment. Measuring the Age of the Earth: Students will build a timeline based on the masses of substances to develop a basic understanding of absolute age by radioactive dating and how it compares to relative age based on the Law of Superposition. Students will measure the mass of several objects which will represent "fossils.

Students will gain an understanding of how scientists use absolute dating to accurately determine the age of objects and how relative dating is used to generally determine the age of objects. This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills into their science curriculum.


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This tutorial will demonstrate a number of strategies teachers can impart to students to help them use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words within science texts. It will also help them teach students how to select the appropriate definition from reference materials. The focus on literacy across content areas is intended to help foster students' reading, writing, and thinking skills in multiple disciplines.

Users can also determine the age of different objects such as fossils and rocks by percentage of parent nuclei remaining.