Just say the word " fossils" and most third graders give you their undivided attention. During this lesson, our guiding question was, " How do fossils help tell us about the Earth's past?' In our previous lesson , my students got a fossil overview by conducting a WebQuest. In this lesson, we began exploring the connection between fossils and the Earth. I used a wonderful interactive website from UCMP Berkeley, that helped my students lay a foundation for how paleontology and geology work together.
I created a PowerPoint, Introduction to Fossil Records, that helped me touch upon different learning styles. The PowerPoint also paired very well with the interactive website, helping guide the students through the lesson.
In the 21st Century, students are expected to use different types of media in order to obtain new academic information and vocabulary. To help guide my students during this process, I created a question sheet that helped them take notes and that could also be used as a study guide at the end of the unit. By using, Questions to be used with Stories of the Fossil Record, I believe that they gained much needed practice in zeroing in on essential information, and eventually, will be able to do it on their own when they are researching.
At the beginning of the lesson, we discussed how growth rings on trees help us determine how old a tree was when it died. I wanted them to make a connection between that process and the process of using fossil records to date rocks. The students wrote about it, then shared with a partner and then we shared full class. I know that having this discussion helped them make a mental bridge from the information they already knew to the new information they learned.