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


As I looked at my student samples of drawings and their ability to reason and infer, I was happy with the results. Each student in my class was able to identify if the fossil came from the land or sea, and if it was a plant or animal with no problem. Where we had some trouble was with the petrified wood samples. They really thought that it was part of the Grand Canyon because of the photos they have seen of the striated rocks with so many colors. Fewer students grasped that it was wood than I thought! I guess the idea of fossilized wood is so bizarre to them that it didn't cross their minds for many. The concept that the shark teeth are actually fossils is another difficult concept to grasp as they thought the teeth just wind up on the bottom of the sea floor and get washed up on the beach.  They never attached the idea of the fossilization process to them even after all of the exposure to the research and movies they have seen. Here are some student samples of the lab on this clip.

  Lab Samples
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Lab Samples
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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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