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Science - 4th Grade
Standard 5 Objective 2
2 class periods of 45 minutes each
In this activity, students will make a stratigraphy cup by layering specimens in sand and plaster.
For the whole class:
The order in which the Earths layers of sediment were laid down is an important clue to the Earths past. In most sedimentary rock, a given layer will be older than the layer above it. By using this principle, and by knowing the type of fossils in the sedimentary rock layers, geologists can determine the relative ages of the layers. Rock layers containing the same type of fossils are presumed to be the same age.
If You Are Feeling Ambitious
As a take-home activity, have students examine a pile of laundry in their home. From looking at the layers of laundry, students should be able to reconstruct what they wore each day. You may ask "What was the last thing that you wore?" or "Can you tell what you wore 3 days ago?" Explain that geologists do this with layers of rocks.
Questions to Think About:
Lowen, Amy and Weaver, Lisa; Water, Stones, & Fossil Bones. NSTA, 1991.
This lesson plan was provided by the Utah Museum of Natural History.