What is a fossil?
Students will investigate fossils as evidence of organisms that lived long ago.
S3E2a: Investigate fossils by viewing authentic fossils or models of fossils or view information resources about fossils as evidence of organisms that lived long ago.
S3E2: Describe how a fossil is formed.
In this activity we are going to learn some
basics about fossils.
We are going to find out when and how they formed. We are going to also
learn about Paleontology and Paleontologists.
PLO: Students will learn the meaning of
what a Paleontologist does. They will investigate fossils.
is the study of ancient or past life. A paleontologist
is a scientist who studies paleontology, mostly by studying fossils.
means existence, "-logy" is the study of something; therefore
is the study of existence. "-ist" at the end means a person who is
involved in the field.
First you are going to visit a website and read some information about different kinds of fossils. When you get to the site I want you to click on each link on the left side of the page EXCEPT “time line”. Start with “Fun Facts” and look at them in order until you get to “quiz” Remember to skip “time line”. After reading the information on each page you can click “home” at the bottom and it will take you back so you can click on the next information page. After you have read all the information here I would like you to take the quiz. Write your answers on a piece of paper. DO NOT answer questions 4, 5 and 6. These relate to the time line page that you did not read. When you have written your answers click on “answers at the bottom of the quiz page to check your answers. Start by clicking here.
Next, we are going to “chat” with a real
named Mark Norell. When you go to the website you will see a list of
Read through all of the questions and click on 5 of the most
to find the answers. Click here
Finally, we are gong to write a letter to
Mark. In the first
part of the letter I want you to tell him what you have learned so far
fossils and paleontology. In the second part of the letter I want you
him questions about things you still want to know. You can use the
Word program or paper and pencil.
(Letters will not be mailed to Mark.
After all activities
are completed students will look at the questions they asked and see if
have learned the answers. If they were not answered they will use to
to find the answers.)
In this activity students will
learn how fossils are formed and where
they are found.
PLO: Students will draw a picture
of a fossil underground using the paint
First, click here to read about how a fossil is formed.
Then click here and do the activity. Click
on the word “open” on
the picture to see how and where fossils are formed.
Next, click here to find out some places
where you might find fossils. Click on
“Fun and Games” then just for fun try
the dinosaur jokes. Next, click on fossil hunter—you are going to see
fossils are found. Use your knowledge about where fossils are found and
tools that are used to get to them.
Finally, using the paint program,
draw a picture of a fossil underground.
Be sure to think about how a fossil is formed. Also think about the
clay, rock, etc. your fossil is in. Use the text box in the paint
write what living thing your fossil once was, what type of rock, soil,
is in and where I might find this fossil (near the ocean, a mountain,
The product is the picture that the student creates.
PLO – Students will
simulate a fossil dig and then reflect on the dig by
The following materials are needed for each pair of students:
here and read about what kind of rocks
fossils are usually found in. Then click your “back” button.
here and read about the do's and don'ts of fossil hunting. Then
click the "back" button.
3. Click here to see what kinds of fossils you might find on your fossil hunt. Then click the "back" button.
4. Next, choose a partner to work with. (Teacher may assign partners or have students work individually)
Link to directions Read all directions before beginning. It may be better to work over several days in 15-20 minute increments.
finished with the “excavation” answer these
questions about your fossil dig.
What was surprising about excavating the bones?
What strategies did you find worked well for removing the plaster?
would you have worked differently if you had no idea what was buried
did you learn about finding "fossils"?
Published by Microsoft
* This software can be used to write reports about fossils. It can also be used to write professional letters.
* This is an excellent word processing program. It has many templates for various applications such as letter writing and resumes. It has an automatic spell and grammar checker. It is fairly easy to use.
* It would be helpful if the person using it has some keyboarding experience.
Published by Microsoft
* This software program can be used to draw pictures about the topic.
* This is a very good program that can be used to draw electronically. Pictures can be drawn and then printed. Pictures can be easily saved and re-opened to work on at a later time. Mess-free!! No cleanup of paint, markers, or paper.
* Students need a steady hand and a bit of patience to use this program. A few mistakes will be made as students learn to use this program. They will need plenty of practice time.
Published by DK Multimedia
* This is a program about dinosaurs. It has a section where you can dig up fossils and reassemble dinosaurs.
* This game has loads of 3-D pictures and interactive consoles. Kids can test their knowledge with quizes.
* The only problem with this CD-ROM is that kids will not want to turn it off!
Magic School Bus Explores in the Age of Dinosaurs
Published by Microsoft
*This software game helps kids learn about prehistoric dinosaurs. There is an acitvity that deal specifically with fossils.
* This program has over 12 games and activities like Morp-a-saurus, Fossil Finder, and Dino Madness. These are different each time kids play. With so many activities that are differnt each time, this programs should never become boring!
* This product has been discontinued by the manufacturer but you can find it online at sites that sell used software like amazon.con and ebay.
Can Be a Dinosaur Finder
Published by MacMillan Digital Publishing
* This software lets kids feel like they are on a real dinosaur hunt. They dig for bones (fossils).\
* This CD-ROM game is packed with hours of fun entertainment. It teaches children what it is like to be a real Palentologist. They will learn about dinosaurs, fossils, prehistoric animals and artifacts. They will go to ralistic dig sites and use realistic tools to dig with.
* Problems that might be found with this software are that there are only 6 dig sites. There are different activites however that go with each site. It is also hard to find. Look for it used in sites such as amazon and ebay.