Following the Trail of Evidence
In this activity, students identify and explain the evidence presented in the short film The Day the Mesozoic Died that led to the discovery that an asteroid struck Earth about 66 million years ago, causing a mass extinction.
As students watch the short film, they document the evidence leading to this important scientific discovery and what that evidence suggests. They follow the process of scientific inquiry, which consists of asking questions, making observations, formulating hypotheses, and gathering and evaluating evidence.
Student Learning Targets
- Explain the relationship between the geological timescale and the layered pattern of exposed rocks in the landscape; specifically, that deeper layers are older than layers closer to Earth’s surface.
- Identify the evidence that the K-T boundary marks a mass extinction event that coincides with an asteroid striking Earth 66 million years ago.
- Employ the practices involved with scientific inquiry and research, including asking questions, making observations, formulating hypotheses, and gathering and evaluating evidence.
asteroid, Cretaceous, foraminifera, fossil, hypothesis, iridium, meteorite, sediment, spores, Tertiary
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AP Biology (2019)
EVO-3.G, EVO-3.H, EVO-3.I, ENE-4.B, SYI-3.G, SYI-2.C; SP1, SP6
IB Biology (2016)
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC5; DP1, DP4