Fossil Record Teacher Resources

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Watch how paleontologists scour the Gobi Desert to find fossils that fill in a gap in the fossil record. How big did dinosaurs get during the Jurassic period? Get your class thinking about these questions and more with this short clip. Tip: Have your students use what they know to come up with a theory of their own, explaining how dinosaurs grew to be the biggest animals on the planet.
Young scholars create mock fossil records based on current scientific theories about prehistory. By learning about what fossil records teach us about different prehistoric time periods, students gain a greater understanding of theories of prehistory in general.
Students compare the three theories used tp interpret fossil records. In this earth science lesson, students create a production of a televised debate. They collaborate with group members to generate relevant questions about the topic.
Students ask questions about the nature of science as they experience a 'Fossil Hunt'. They reconstruct a book that has been literally destroyed, just as the fossil record has been changed by billions of years of geological processes.
Engage young biologists with four laboratory activities that explore the fossil record. Learners examine fossil images, a fossil kit, the rock record, and geologic time scale. They even experiment with the oxygen production of an Elodea plant as an example of how the ancient atmosphere might have developed. Not only are activities provided, suggestions for comprehensive assessment questions are available as well. Use this resource as a complete mini-unit on evolutionary processes.
Learners create an evolutionary tree based on fossil morphology and their ages. In this fossil record lesson plan, students are given 23 pictures of fossil. They study their morphology and arrange the fossils by age and structures on a chart with time periods. Learners tape the fossils in place and analyze their results to form a phylogenic tree.
The objective of this set of slides is to present four types of evidence for evolution: the fossil record, embryology, molecular biology, and comparative anatomy. Each facet of the argument is explored. This can be used in a high school biology course.
While this is not the traditional, step-by-step lesson plan, it is chock-full of material that you can easily incorporate into your earth history unit. Its main purpose is to serve as a guide to using a three-part film, The Day the Mesozoic Died, which uncovers evidence in the fossil record for the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period. Key concepts, background information, discussion points, and quiz questions are provided. There are also several links to related resources such as video lectures, slide presentations, and posters.
Learners explore how to read fossil range charts. They develop an knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the fossil record. Students become familiar with the concepts index fossil and fossil range. Learners use bar graphs to plot fossil ranges. They develop an knowledge of 'relative time' using fossil range charts.
Students acquire a general knowledge of fossils and paleontology, the study of evidence of life in the past and identify the major invertebrate groups (phyla) commonly found in the fossil record.
Walk your junior biologists through the evidence that supports evolution. The fossil record, anatomical record, and molecular record are explained and supported by colorful graphs and pictures. Extensive notes are provided for some of the slides.
Summarize a unit on evolutionary evidence. Learners recount information about the fossil record, molecular record, homologous structures, convergent evolution. This worksheet provides plenty of room for high schoolers to write out responses, and it makes a succinct review of the topic.
Students investigate the fossil record, beginning the fossil formation process and delving into evolution.
Take a close-up look at the evolution of hyenas in South Africa. Natural historians read about the five hyena species found in the fossil record and examine four statements that summarize the theory of evolution. As a culminating activity, pupils form groups and design a fact sheet about any modern member from the hyena family. This is an uncomplicated assignment to do with biology classes. You will appreciate the teacher's notes and grading rubric that are provided alongside.
In this history of life instructional activity, students will explore how mass extinctions have occurred on Earth, the different periods of the geological time scale, and scientists' use of fossil records. Students will complete 3 fill in the blank questions and 5 short answer questions.
Students practice sequencing cards that represent different rock layers based on alphabetical characters. In this fossil instructional activity, students discuss how paleontologists, biologists, and geologists use the fossil record to learn about the Earth. Students view examples of dinosaurs and fossils. Students complete a sequencing activity and name three organisms that could not be used as index fossils.
Students research about the animals found in Burgess Shale. In this earth science lesson, students evaluate the significance of fossils in human history. They create models of their chosen animal.
Go deep in your paleontology unit with this spectacular set of slides! It introduces viewers to the types of fossils, a few famous fossils, and the geologic eras. This is done with easy-to-read text, diagrams, photos, and even videos. 
Students write an essay about evolution. They summarize Darwin's Theory and discuss its strength and weakness of evolutionary theory. Students discuss the struggle of existence and survival of the fittest. They discuss the evidence of evolution, the fossil record, and the homology in structure and embryos.
Students explore types of fossils and discover how sediment affects fossil preservation. They focus their study on trace fossils and create their own using sediment, water, and a small organism such as a snail or lizard. Students use plaster of Paris to make casts of the fossil to mimic the preservation of fossil records.

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