Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Fun With Fossils - Section 3: Inquiry, Exploration, & Inference


One of the best things I have gleaned and really enjoyed about teaching this whole unit is listening to my students grow in their reasoning and thought process. Their perceptions of what fossils are were so skewed by their limited exposure to them and their rampant passion for dinosaurs. It's perfectly normal and wonderfully part of being a child. Balancing the rigor of NGSS and remembering that these are 9 and 10 year olds has been an invigorating process in my transition. I loved listening to this student share some thoughts about the centipede fossil and why it was so large. I let my students talk to help them develop a mindset of inquiry because I know that soon we will be challenged with some topics that are more difficult to understand and that engineering practices are soon on the horizon. That transition will be both challenging and engaging. Using their prior knowledge in this lab helps to bring forth a comfort level with having to observe, discuss, and infer after being deeply immersed in the content. I have to choose what to address as being a thought process that should flow, even though the concept might be a little off, and risking a shut down due to addressing inaccuracies. That is always a continual challenge in teaching science!

  Connection to Prior Knowledge: The Challenge of Inference
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Fun With Fossils

Unit 2: Fossils
Lesson 8 of 10

Objective: SWBAT build upon prior knowledge to understand how fossils are formed.

Big Idea: Students examine several fossil samples as they analyze different ways these fossils formed using both real samples and an interactive web page.

  Print Lesson
Science, Fossil formation, lab activity, prior knowledge, inference
  70 minutes
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