I made a visit to all of the 3rd graders in the county to show them some fossils and talk about how long ago they were formed.
I'm sorry that I only have pictures from one class though.
I first told them that some of them were formed millions of years ago.
To try to show them big really big numbers are I had them silently count to 100.
When they got to 100 they should raise their hand and when half of the
class had their hands up I would use that time for everybody.
I told them that they couldn't cheat, no counting by twos or 10s and definitely not 1,2, skip a few 99, 100.
It took about 36 seconds.
Then we talked about how long it would take 10 times as long to count
to 1000 if we didn't have to slow down because the numbers were getting
bigger and harder to say.
So that would be 360 seconds or 6 minutes.
The same sort of assumptions and calculations gives an hour to count to 10,000.
And 100,000 in 10 hours and a million in 100 hours (just over 4 days) if they didn't stop to sleep or eat or anything.
Ten million (more than a month), 100 million (more than a year) and a billion (11 years or so).
Now we are ready to talk about dinosaurs that lived more than 64 million years ago and things that are much older.
The kid with the yellow shirt is examining a stromatolite (more than a billion years old).
It looks like a brown and black striped pebble but was formed when
single celled bacteria formed a mat that was periodically covered with
a thin layer of mud.
The kid closest to us is holding a picture if an ammonite, about 250 million years old.
We passed one of those around as well.
The girls are examining some amber that is "only" 20,000 years old.
The big rocks on the floor were all found in our county and have trace fossil tracks of worms or other sea creatures.
Dinosaurs came in many sizes from ones the size of pigeons to others that were up to 130 ft long or 60 feet tall.
They liked seeing a copy of a dinosaur footprint and comparing it to the size of their hands.
We won't find any dinosaur fossils in our part of Kentucky because our rocks are all much older than the oldest dinosaur.
The chart behind me shows how various animals descended from earlier ones.
We finished the class with from a dinosauer wrangler.
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