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  • In this activity, students develop a timescale for a person’s life. The techniques of relative and absolute dating are similar to those used in the construction of a geological timescale.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • understand how a timescale is constructed
    • understand the difference between relative and absolute dating
    • realise that timescale divisions are not of standard lengths like other scientific units of measurement
    • recognise stages of a person’s life.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • discussion questions
    • extension ideas.

    Related content

    The construction of geological timescales involves relative and absolute dating, with the date range involved up to 4.6 billion years ago.

    Explore the Age of the earth timeline to find out about developments in how geologists discover the ages of rocks and fossils.

    Activity ideas

    Help your students understand more about dating methods with these other activities:

      Published 18 May 2011, Updated 28 April 2023 Referencing Hub articles
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