Reflection: ELL Students Fossils of the United States - Engage "Where Can You Find Fossils?" - Section 2: Engage: Where Can You Find Fossils?


In my initial plan for this lesson, I didn't allow for more than about 15 minutes for students to discuss their ideas about how to find fossils.  After listening to their conversations, I realized this was a perfect opportunity to explore their thinking more deeply, for me to understand their misconceptions so I could teach more effectively, for them to develop their ability to write and support opinions, and finally for them to engage in the verbal task of defending their reasoning and critiquing that of others.  My focus on this part of the lesson wasn't in pointing out which of their ideas about where to find fossils was "right" or "wrong' but instead on having them back up their explanations.  For example, if a student said that one can find more fossils in the desert than in a wet place because the animal’s bones dry out instead of decomposing, what I focus on in this round of conversation is that fact that they justified their answer.  Later they will realize that the fossils that that can be found in southern Utah (an example of an arid climate) may be from a period in which they climate was very wet, so the fact that it's desert now doesn't have anything to do with the initial process of fossilization.

  Talking Through Ideas
  ELL Students: Talking Through Ideas
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Fossils of the United States - Engage "Where Can You Find Fossils?"

Unit 4: Fossil Evidence
Lesson 4 of 8

Objective: Students will draw conclusions about past environments using photographs

Big Idea: Learning what fossils can be found in different states gives us information about the past environment.

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4 teachers like this lesson
Science, fossils
  63 minutes
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