Using Powers of 10 to Help Students Develop Temporal Benchmarks

by: Mette Elisabeth Schwartz

One of the greatest challenges for middle school Earth science teachers is helping our students get a feel for the magnitude of the long spans that make up Earth’s history. The intent of the strategy presented here is to help middle school students get a feel for the real sizes of powers of 10, and then help them use that understanding by connecting it to a period of time that means something to them, such as a year. The hope is that by connecting a period of time they understand with a power of 10 for which they have developed a benchmark; geologic time will be more meaningful to middle school students.


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 12/1/2009Stock # ss09_033_04_20Volume 033Issue 04

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