Saturday, November 1, 2008

Teaching Fossils

I loved teaching Fossils!

Great fun with high interest for your students. They love to study fossils!

Here are three active-learning based activities all rolled into one package. Well, actually, three packages. It was too big to upload all in one package.

Activity One is a Fossil or NonFossil? Lab.
Good way to introduce fossils to your students. They get fossils mixed up with things like modern shells (just mother nature!) and pottery shards (artifacts). Can be done with a variety of materials. Really nice if you have a pottery shard. We had them in our department. Make some if you can. Break up something you painted at a pottery store and get it really dirty.

Activity Two is a real-deal Fossil Lab, simplified for middle school students. I don't think it's necessary for younger students to memorize anything about fossils. At the middle school level, your goal is to teach what a fossil is, what an index fossil is, and what type of time index fossils can indicate (relative).

Activity Three is a wonderful Mystery Bones Activity. It's been around for years. I have no idea where the original originated. I used it at least 15-20 years ago.

FUN BONUS: Fossil Word Search Puzzle.

Beyond that, make sure they have fun!

CONSIDER THIS: Add a few Fossil Activities to your Geologic History unit.

Earth Science Wordle

Gotta GREAT SITE for you: Wordle

"Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends."

Type in words: the more of the same word, the bigger the word in the Wordle.

Here's one for fun.
Circle Meteorology in red. Circle all words related to Meteorology in red also. Repeat for the other three Branches of Earth Science.

CONSIDER THIS: Make fun BONUS Puzzles using Wordle!