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.
Students not only want to know how old a fossil is, but they want to know how that age was determined.
This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method".Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.Once students begin to grasp "relative" dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of Earth's history.Students should be able to understand the principles and have that as a background so that age determinations by paleontologists and geologists don't seem like black magic. Geologists in the late 18th and early 19th century studied rock layers and the fossils in them to determine relative age.William Smith was one of the most important scientists from this time who helped to develop knowledge of the succession of different fossils by studying their distribution through the sequence of sedimentary rocks in southern England.