This lesson was adapted from the “Fossil Finding” lesson by the Museum of the Rockies by including multiple possible endings besides the formation and discovery of a fossil. This and other excellent lessons may be downloaded from their website.
Another great explanation of how fossils form, with good pictures, can be found on the Discovering Fossils website.
Other great K-12 paleontology lessons may be found at:
- Paleontological Experiences for Science Teachers by the University of Wisconsin
- Learning from the Fossil Record by the UC Museum of Paleontology
- Earth Science Classroom Activities from the Kentucky Geological Survey
For pictures of fossils, see:
- The UC Museum of Paleontology’s online collections
- The Smithsonian Institute’s online resources on Evolution and Paleontology
- The Royal Tyrell Museum has great information about its exhibits
Earth and Life History (Earth Sciences)
Evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life on Earth. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know Earth processes today are similar to those that occurred in the past and slow geologic processes have large cumulative effects over long periods of time.
e. Students know fossils provide evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed.
g. Students know how to explain significant developments and extinctions of plant and animal life on the geologic time scale.