This Earthlearningidea encourages pupils to try to think like William Smith. The pupil learning outcomes from this activity are as follows:-
• explain that fossils are the remains of living organisms;
• describe how sedimentary rocks occur in layers or strata which may be horizontal or dipping;
• realise that the layers of rock may be broken by faults;
• explain that, if they are fossiliferous, each rock layer contains a specific set of fossils;
• realise that these rock layers with their particular fossils can be correlated (linked together in time) from one place to another;
• realise that scientific thinking in the 18th century was greatly influenced by religious beliefs;
• realise that in the 18th century it was very difficult for a clever man from a poor background with little education to join the world of the rich and educated.
This is one of a series of activities about great scientists. The rest are listed in Teaching strategies on the ELI website.