For a little fossil fun, I opened up our sharing time with this little video about fossils that tells a story. It is set to the tune of "Gone, Gone, Gone" and I think it's just a treat to watch.
We discussed how learning through songs is really fun. I asked them if there was anything in the video that they didn't know before. One student shared that he didn't know that fossils could be plants.
Afterward we drew "sticks" to see who would go first to present the Educreations Videos developed from yesterday. I wrote their groups on wooden sticks and pulled out the first group.
This presentation would be the final assessment of their growth and an important event in their learning process as we work to master understanding NGSS 4-ESS-1, that the earth's surface will house more than just fossils and that the layers are important in understanding that there is a story behind it all. Through this experience, they can graduate into understanding that rock layers will contain different types of fossils and that it indicates there was change over time in the surface of the earth.
I planned to allow about 5-7 minutes per presentation including time for questions. Each group was given their Classroom Dig Presentation Rubric before the presentation. They were allowed to look it over, write their names on the rubric and then as a team, rate what they thought their presentation should be rated. After several minutes, the students were ready to begin. They were excited!
Each group connected their Educreations Video to the Apple TV device and allowed the presentation to play on the Smart Board for the class. I watched and used the rubric to assess their presentation. There was time afterward for questions and answers. Student led discussions after the presentation spawned questions about what is real and why they classified their objects like they did. I pushed their thinking further with questions that built off of their discussion to help mold their concepts of what we can find buried in the earth's surface.
Bringing It Home: To finish the lesson, I took time to ask them which questions addressed the understanding of why we found certain objects at certain levels. I asked them what each video had in common, besides maybe some of the objects in the same classification. I asked if they noticed that no one placed the fossils in a separate classification.One student talked about how she thought the fossils were all found at the bottom level because they were oldest. This discussion helped them start to understand that the oldest fossils will be found at the lowest level of the layers of rock in a dig.