Ohio Resource Center
Layers of Rock
Share This Resource
Add To ORC Collection Share via Email Share on Facebook Tweet This Resource Pin it!
Professional Commentary

This instructional resource challenges students to determine the relative ages of rock strata by taking core samples from a clay model. Objectives of the lesson are to:

  • examine three dimensional models that describe the Earth;
  • deduce relative ages of simulated rock layers based on collected data;
  • use teamwork and decision making skills to decide on data collection locations; and
  • make strike and dip cross-section drawings to describe the relationships between layers of "rock" in their model.

This lesson includes a guided inquiry that engages students in an investigation into phenomena that may be difficult to observe directly. The questions for class discussion will help students tie the investigation to the content. Additional questions relating the evidence to the conclusions would help to emphasize the inquiry skills used during the investigation. For example after asking students which layer is the youngest you might also ask how the evidence supports their conclusion. (author/ts)

Collections Containing This Resource

Next Generation Science Standards (2012)
Scientific and Engineering Practices
Developing and using models
Ohio Science Academic Content Standards (2010)
Science Inquiry and Application
Grade 6
Earth and Space Science
Rocks, Minerals and Soil
Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks have unique characteristics that can be used for identification and/or classification.
Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks form in different ways.
Ohio Science Academic Content Standards (2002)
Earth and Space Sciences
Benchmarks (6–8)
Describe the processes that contribute to the continuous changing of Earth's surface (e.g., earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, erosion, mountain building and lithospheric plate movements).
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 8)
Use models to analyze the size and shape of Earth, its surface and its interior (e.g., globes, topographic maps, satellite images).
Describe how landforms are created through a combination of destructive (e.g., weathering and erosion) and constructive processes (e.g., crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions and deposition of sediment).
Explain that folding, faulting and uplifting can rearrange the rock layers so the youngest is not always found on top.
Scientific Inquiry
Benchmarks (6–8)
Explain that there are differing sets of procedures for guiding scientific investigations and procedures are determined by the nature of the investigation, safety considerations and appropriate tools.
Analyze and interpret data from scientific investigations using appropriate mathematical skills in order to draw valid conclusions.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 6)
Explain that there are not fixed procedures for guiding scientific investigations; however, the nature of an investigation determines the procedures needed.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 8)
Read, construct and interpret data in various forms produced by self and others in both written and oral form (e.g., tables, charts, maps, graphs, diagrams, symbols).
National Science Education Standards
Science as Inquiry
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (Grades 5 - 8)
Understandings about scientific inquiry (Grades 5 - 8)
Earth and Space Science
Structure of the earth system (Grades 5 - 8)