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Fossils Teacher Resources
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Students recall prior knowledge of the process of fossilization. For 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.
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 lesson.
Junior geologists work through three mini-lessons that familiarize them with the formation and location of fossil fuels. Part one involves reading about petroleum and where it comes from via a thorough set of handouts. A lab activity follows in part two, in which investigators experiment with the sedimentation of different sized particles. In part three, they will examine maps of the distribution of oil deposits throughout the New York region. Use any one or all three terrific activities as part of your earth science curriculum.
More of a mini-unit than a lesson, these activities lead inquisitors through a survey of oil deposits. In the first part, they read about and view diagrams of sedimentary rock layers that trap oil. Next, they test porosity and permeability of different sediments. In part three, they consider the need for geologists to use topographic maps. The fourth part can only be used if your school has a data analysis system that you can access for relevant data. These are top-notch activities that can be used individually, together, or in addition to "Fossil Fuels (Part I)," also available via the Lesson Planet website.
Chemistry and earth science meet in a lesson on carbon dioxide emissions. After reading about atmospheric problems caused by using fossil fuels, science stars balance equations for the burning of different alkanes. They compute the number of moles of gasses emitted and consider the use of photovoltaics and other clean energy sources. Although it is only a paper and pencil assignment, it is well-written and pertinent when you want to open your chemists' eyes to the threat of climate change.
Students determine what types of information can be determined by looking at fossils. In this fossil lesson plan, 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.
Future scientists are introduced to the chemical consequences of burning fossil fuels, learning that fossil fuel combustion leads to the formation of oxides of three nonmetals: carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, all of which end up in the atmosphere and water. They explore how when each of these oxides are added to water, an acid forms, in addition to threatning wildlife in our streams, lakes, and rivers, acids react with building materials as carbonate containing rocks and some metals.
Here is a good visual for demonstrating the nonrenewable quality of fossil fuels and our dependence on them: pass around an opaque bag of candy, allowing pupils to take as much as they want. You will have prepared the bag to not have enough candy for everyone. Learners compare how much each individual received. Then they relate the activity to the use of fossil fuels, considering their daily activities and the amount of energy that they consume. Use this activity as an anticipatory set when introducing energy use to your class.
Students 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.
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.
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.