Fossils Teacher Resources
Find Fossils educational ideas and activities
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How to Fossilize Yourself
Here is an unusual question: How can I become a famous fossil for future generations to examine and adore? It is from this comical perspective that viewers learn how fossilization occurs. Show this for your middle school paleontologists when studying sedimentary rock, fossils, or earth history and follow it up with a fossil-making activity.
Fun with Fossils
Students examine how fossils are formed. They view videos, make models of fossils and determine what information can be gleaned from studying fossils including information about the fossil and the environment in which it was created.
The Fossil Hunt
Students recall prior knowledge of the process of fossilization. In this fossils lesson, students first create and at a later date, recover fossils. Students understand the painstaking process of recovering a fossil. Students recover and identify the fossil they are uncovering.
Fossil Fuels: Understanding a Nonrenewable Resource
Incorporate fossil fuel issues into your curriculum with these lesson plan ideas.
Fossils: Clues to Ancient Life
You can make your students amateur paleontologists with great fossil lesson plans.
Fossil Kit I - Lesson Plan
Here is a 14-page lesson plan that deftly outlines a wonderful educational experience for your youngsters. In it, students learn about a variety of animals that have left behind clues of their existence in fossil form. Many excellent worksheets are embedded in the plan, as is the information needed to purchase the fossil kit ($75.00) needed to implement the instructional activity.
New! Fossil Fuels and the Carbon Cycle
Humans are quickly depleting Earth's fossil fuels and locating them is becoming increasingly difficult! Layered muffins are used for models as young geologists take core samples in order to determine the presence of oil. Consider first teaching about the carbon cycle and fossil fuels to give youngsters the background knowledge that will make this activity more meaningful. Be aware that significant preparation time is required as the teacher must bake the special muffins for the activity, but it will be well worth the time!
Study of Fossils
Fifth graders dig for fossils. In this fossil instructional activity, 5th graders read about the oldest found fossils and discuss the process of fossilization. They dig for their own fossils in a fossil box made of several dirt layers.
Guided Reading: Fossils
Read the nonfiction book Fossils by Becky Olien and use text features to gain information about fossils. Then have partners or small groups discuss what they read.
Fossils 2: Uncovering the Facts
Students determine what types of information can be determined by looking at fossils. In this fossil lesson, students examine facts about and images of the Tyrannosaurus Rex at an assigned web site. They apply their knowledge to develop information about another dinosaur. They work in small groups to write an interview of the second dinosaur.
Learners explore what fossils are, how they are formed, what different types there are and why they are significant to both our present and past geology history. They participate in a hands on fossil observation of their choice and simulate the history of the fossil they chose. In addition, they make mold fossils out of impressions in clay.
Fossils and Our Past (Cookie Dig)
Third graders examine the differences between cast and mold fossils. They listen to the book "Fossils Tell of Long Ago" by Aliki, and discuss different types of fossils and where they are found. Next, 3rd graders participate in a simulated fossil dig that uses chocolate chip cookies.
Students examine pictures of fossils, and make their own fossils using clay, plaster of paris, and molding objects.
Fossils and our Past (part 1 of 3)
Third graders investigate how some extinct organisms resemble organisms that are still alive today. They watch and discuss the Magic School Bus video about fossils, then create clay fossil imprints, matching the imprints to plaster of paris fossils.
Fossil Formation Fun
Students compare the three types of fossils: preserved organisms, mineral replacement fossils, and impression fossils. They create a model of amber, sponge fossil, and make traces of fossil.
Ninth graders explore the different types of fossils using an interactive website. In this life science lesson, 9th graders discuss past fossil or artifact discovery. They simulate fossil imprint using items in the classroom.
Examining the Fossil Record
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.
Activity Two: The Classic Fossil Lab-Simple Format
In this fossil worksheet, students are given a bag of fossils to identify. They use a key and a worksheet with pictures of the various types of fossils. They answer questions about fossils and use a web site to find out if their state has a fossil.
Students investigate how fossils are formed. They read the book, "Digging Up Dinosaurs," examine fossil samples, create a fossil imprint using play-doh, and complete a Fossil Questionnaire activity sheet.
Science: Making Trace Fossils
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.