Fossil Dig Site

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In this activity (located on page 5 of PDF), learners work in groups to create dig sites for display. Learners arrange dry, uncooked pasta "bones" to resemble dinosaur fossils on a foam tray of wet soil. Use this activity to introduce learners to dinosaur anatomy, dig sites, fossils, and paleontology in general. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Measuring cup
  • White glue and potting soil mixture, for each skeleton: 2/3 cup glue, 1/3 cup water, 2 cups potting soil - stir together with spoon
  • Uncooked pasta in various shapes and sizes
  • Bowls and spoons
  • Medium sized foam trays (found at restaurant supply stores)
  • Newspaper or other materials to cover desks
  • Books with images of dinosaurs


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth's History
      • Fossils
      • Dinosaurs
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Food and Cooking
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Chicago Children's Museum, 2011