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INTRODUCTION Scientists have good evidence that the earth is very old, approximately four and one-half billion years old.

*Life Science: Fossils indicate that many organisms that lived long ago are extinct.

Extinction of species is common; most of the species that have lived on the earth no longer exist.

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

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.

Time factors of millions and billions of years is difficult even for adults to comprehend.

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

This relative time scale divides the vast amount of earth history into various sections based on geological events (sea encroachments, mountain-building, and depositional events), and notable biological events (appearance, relative abundance, or extinction of certain life forms).

Objectives: When you complete this activity, you will be able to: (1) sequence information using items which overlap specific sets; (2) relate sequencing to the Law of Superposition; and (3) show how fossils can be used to give relative dates to rock layers.

If certain fossils are typically found only in a particular rock unit and are found in many places worldwide, they may be useful as index or guide fossils in determining the age of undated strata.

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