Fossils: Be A Paleontologist

Submitted by: Linda Gipple

Objective: Students will search for fossils and record where they are found on a grid

Resources:
Flat plastic box of kitty litter or sand for each 4 students
Plastic forks
Shells of various sizes
A grid paper for drawing location of finds

Teacher Preparation:
Ahead of time teacher hides shells in the flat boxes of soil. Also make a grid design for students to draw on.

Procedure:
Introduce students to fossils and how paleontologists mark out a dig. Check your library for good books to read on this subject. Using cooperative learning techniques, students use plastic forks to systematically, probe through the sand, starting at one corner of the box. No stirring allowed, only up and down motion. When a fossil is located, the student names it, and draws it on the proper location on the grid paper. Then it is the next student’s turn.

Variations/Options:
Students appreciate paleontological efforts. Students learn how to draw on a grid. Students learn to work together.

Real World Usage:
Real fossils may be used, if available. I have used potting soil…and then reused it for plant unit.

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