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Finding Fossils


Source Institutions

    Twin Cities Public Television

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Finding Fossils

This activity (located on page 4 of the PDF) is a full inquiry investigation to determine the age of fossils based on where they are discovered. Groups of learners will dig for fossils embedded in a cake of multiple layers, carefully excavating each stratum and eventually preparing a chart from their notes for discussion with the group. The two main lessons from this exercise are that fossils from different layers come from different eras and that multiple interpretations of incomplete fossil evidence are possible. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Baby Dinosaurs.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
4 to 24 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model, Simulation

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • a stratigraphy model (constructed out of layers of sheet cake, or from layers of craft Styrofoam)
  • objects to "bury" in the model (coins, rocks, other small artifacts)
  • plastic "tools" (knife, fork, tweezers)
  • trays
  • small tubs for collection dishes
  • poster board
  • markers
  • tape

Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Earth's History
      • Archeology
      • Geologic Time
      • Fossils
      • Dinosaurs
      • History of Life
  • Life Sciences
    • Evolution
      • History of Life
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories


  • Food and Cooking
  • Nature and Environment

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Source Collection:

  • DragonflyTV

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., ©2007

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 610429

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