All About Fossils
Lesson 11 of 12
Objective: SWBAT explain what fossils are and how they are formed.
National Science Teaching Standards
- Properties of Earth Materials
Fossils can provide evidence about the environment, plants, and animals from the past. In this lesson, students learn about the properties of Earth's materials. The lesson helps support students' understanding of how fossils are formed and made. Also, this lesson helps to support 2nd grade Tennessee Standards.
Science and Engineering Practice:
SP 2 addressees making models. In K-2, students learn how to create models to explain their scientific investigation. The lesson permits students to replicate a fossil print by using clay and small items. Students have an opportunity to observe prints and determine what items caused them.
SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2. Students communicate information with others in oral and written form to discuss scientific ideas. In this lesson, groups communicate with each other about how they use Earth's resources in their every day lives.
Students understand that dinosaurs are extinct and they recognize some dinosaurs in various prints such as: books, magazines, and videos. They also understand that scientists know about dinosaurs because of fossils.
In my class, the students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets that they created early in the school year to be worn, during their experiments. I call them junior scientists to encourage them to major in Science and Math related careers. I want them to develop a love for Science and Math. Also, we sing "It is Science Time" before each lesson.
At their desks, students will sing a song at the opening of each science lesson. This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists.
I call on students to read our "I Can" statement for the day. While using a microphone, a scientist says, "I can explain how some fossils get their shape." The "I Can" statement helps students take ownership of the lesson as they put standards in to context. The other students praise the student that reads the "I Can" statement by clapping. I encourage students to give each other praise to boost their self-esteem.
Students observe a Fossil PowerPoint. The PowerPoint is shown because it helps my visual learners and it helps the students grasp content taught in the lesson. During the PowerPoint, students learn the following vocabulary: fossil and paleontologist. I show the students body movements so they can easily remember the terms. This helps my kinesthetic learners who are my hand-on learners.
I pose these questions to the students: How are fossils made? Where are fossils found? I ask the students these questions so I can check for understanding. This serves as an informal assessment. Adjustments can be made, if needed.
I say we are on the move and the students sing the "We Are On the Move" song and proceed to their groups' tables.
While students are sitting at their groups' tables, they assign their groups roles such as: a person who records, manager, and reporter. I permit the students to select their own roles so they can capitalize on their strengths. This also boosts students' self esteem and encourages them to make academic improvements. However, I select the student in each group who demonstrates leadership qualities to lead the group. The students are provided group labels and clothes pin clips. They are encouraged to wear their labels. I provide the students with the group labels to help them identify their roles. Also, it helps promote a positive classroom environment with little disruption.
Students are provided with their Earth's Resource Unit folder, lab sheet, play dough, and small objects.
Students are informed that they are going to create fossil prints. I model for the students how to create the fossil prints. I take some clay and press it into a small circle. Then I press an object carefully in the play dough to make an imprint. I model for the students, so they can have a clear understanding of what is expected. This helps students to be successful with their group investigation.
Then I inform the groups that they should break the play dough into three pieces and press it out flat into a circle. This is a picture of the students' fossil prints. Then you take an object and press it into the play dough and remove it. When the task is completed, Students take a Gallery Walk by visiting each group's table and infers which object made each print. Groups are invited to record their predictions on a lab sheet that has been provided.
Fossil Prints-Gallery Walk- I provide the students with directions on how to observe each others' fossil prints.
While groups sit at their tables, they listen to each other share share their prints. This is done so students can use the science skill, infer, to determine the print in the shape.
Then I call the students to the carpet to discuss the following questions: How are fossils formed? How can paleontologist help determine what I fossil is? I ask the students these questions to determine if they understand what a fossil is and how it is form to meet my objectives for this lesson.