Chemical elements dating game lesson plan

08 Jun

You can't tell by looking at pennies whether they're made of exactly the same materials.

Students use M&M’s (or pennies and puzzle pieces) to demonstrate the idea of radioactive decay.To do this lesson and understand half-life and rates of radioactive decay, students should understand ratios and the multiplication of fractions, and be somewhat comfortable with probability.Games with manipulative or computer simulations should help them in getting the idea of how a constant proportional rate of decay is consistent with declining measures that only gradually approach zero.Students should begin to see the pattern that each time they “take a half-life,” about half of the surrogate radioactive material becomes stable.Students then should be able to see the connection between the M&M’s and Puzzle Pieces and radioactive elements in archaeological samples.