Fossils of the United States - Elaborate, Present, and Share

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Students will be able to present and elaborate upon the connections they made between the different state's fossils and past environments.

Big Idea

Quality research always leads to further questions and scientists share what they find out.

Presenting and Asking Questions

60 minutes

As they listened to this student's presentation about Fossils in Arizona  the students took specific notes.   

This is a rich opportunity for questioning and elaborating.  The clips below show students responding to the comments students made about just one of the photos this student showed of a fossil in Arizona.  I had asked the students to focus on making their observation as objective as possible.  I explained that they were to do the opposite of what teachers often ask them.  Do NOT infer or draw conclusions.  State only what you observe.  Facts.  I numbered them quickly into groups of 4 and gave them 7 minutes to discuss their observations with the group.  Then we reconvened at the carpet and I selected two students to share out their responses.  I knew from conferring with the groups that one of these responses was more objective than another.  Then I asked students to think and then respond about how these statements differ.  I made it clear it wasn't a "right" or "wrong" issue, but a distinction between more or less objective observations.  

This student has an intuitive sense of how the statements differ.

I asked this student if she could add on to what the previous child said.  She is one of my bilingual students and I am constantly impressed with how well she expresses herself in her second language.  She is able to latch on to and effectively utilize sentence stems and key phrases.  Notice all the detail she is able to add to the additional commentary.


 We continued this process of asking questions and clarifying details for the rest of the student presentations.  It took two sessions to complete all of the student presentations.