Fossil Record Teacher Resources
Find Fossil Record educational ideas and activities
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Students 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. Students tape the fossils in place and analyze their results to form a phylogenic tree.
Young scholars 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.
Students develop an understanding of the evolution of species in the context of the woolly mammoth. They examine the fossil record to explain natural selection.
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.
Students explore the various ways in which geologists create fossil records. Working in pairs, students create a model of a fossil record through a hands on activity. They relate their experience to recent discoveries in geology and fossils.
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 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 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.
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.
Second graders investigate how weather causes erosion, and determine what a fossil is and how it show the change of the Earth over time. Students watch a teacher demonstration that shows what happens when water is poured over sand while they record their observations. Finally, they observe rocks that contain fossils, and discuss the fossil record.
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.
In this fossil record activity, students review how fossils are formed, how a fossil's age is determined, what the fossil record reveals, and the geologic time scale. Students also compare the two theories of evolution. This activity has 23 fill in the blank statements and 8 short answer questions.
Seventh graders examine fossils. In this vertebrate fossils lesson plan students view a demonstration.
Students create oral presentations and visual aids to assist their inquiry about various insects. They reflect on the importance of learning about insects while working in small groups.
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.
Young scholars recognize that they haven't seen a dinosaur because they no longer exist. In this dinosaur lesson, students view videos and understand what the dinosaur habitat was like. Young scholars role play dinosaurs. Students explore dinosaur egg models and discuss their survival in the habitat. Young scholars make hatch-able dinosaur eggs.
Students review the theory of plate tectonics; discuss how plate movements affect climate in various land regions; research and record the ways that climate has changed in various world regions over the past one hundred million years; explain how animals in these regions might have been affected by climate changes;
After reading about the five main theories explaining the mass extinction of dinosaurs, natural historians diagram a geological timeline, describe how the five factors might have caused mass extinction, and then create a poster of an animal that has recently become extinct. A reading passage and student instructions sheet are included, as well as teacher's notes and a rubric for grading the poster. Although the lesson plan states that it is intended for 10th grade, it really can be used from fifth grade on up.
Practicing paleontologists map the geologic time scale, simulate the formation of sedimentary rock, and analyze fossil data. Instructions for four activities and five assessment choices are provided for the teacher. This comprehensive lesson plan thoroughly exposes learners to the stages of evolution as evidenced by the fossil record.
Twenty-seven slides will give your students a complete overview of the biological and chemical theories behind the development of life on Earth. There are fabulous real life photos and labelled diagrams to give details about the first eukaryotes, and explosions of diversity in history. Students could use this PowerPoint in an independent study or as a source of information for research.