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assignment: Fossil FInd

prep work:

In your last lesson, you should have prepared your fossil box by placing 3 fossils into the wet sand-and-plaster mix and allowing it to dry.

+ uh oh...

before we start:

Let me know if you need help with any of the edio questions!

Let's review what a paleontologist is and the types of fossils!

your Choices:

+ Types of Fossils Review

+ Fossil Research

+ Simulated Fossil Dig

Using the metal probing tool and paintbrush, you will search for and uncover the fossils.However, search carefully, marking the grid as you go along. Learn more about how you will mark your grid during the fossil dig by exploring the information below.

Paleontologists have used pencil and paper and computer software to track where fossils have been found at dig sites. In today's assignment, you will conduct a simulated fossil dig while carefully recording on a grid where the fossils were found.

Option 1: Simulated Fossil Dig

Gather the box and the graph paper from the Beneath Our Feet Student Workbook. This box represents an area of rock that a paleontologist might explore when looking for fossils. Imagine that the area within the box is divided into many tiny squares of a grid, corresponding to the squares on your paper.

Make an X in each square of the grid in which you do not find a fossil.

Outline each fossil on the grid and label it with the type when you find it. When you first touch a fossil with your tool, carefully uncover it, using the paintbrush as needed.

Continue searching for and uncovering fossils and marking the grid until you have uncovered all three fossils. When done, pour the dry sand back into the bag. Throw away the sand and plaster mixture. Save the box and fossils for a later activity. When you have found all of your fossils and completed the grid, answer the questions in edio!

Now that you've chosen a fossil, do some research about that fossil! There are some resources linked in the second column of the Padlet to help you get started!

Paleontologists use research to learn about fossils, where they have been found in the past, and what that indicates for the changes in the area where they are found.

Option 2: Fossil research

In today's assignment, you will conduct research about a fossil from your Fossil Study Kit.Find your Fossil Study Kit. Open it up and examine the fossils.Choose one of the following fossils to research: Fossil #2, 4, 5, or 6.

Click Here for the Padlet!

Open the Padlet to the right and answer the following questions about your fossil.

When you have answered all of the questions in a post on the Padlet, continue on to answer the questions in edio!

-Where did your fossil come from/where is it commonly found? -What environment did your organism live in? -How did your fossil likely form? -Are these organisms still alive today? If so, please describe them.

Wrap Up Questions

your Choices:

  • Finding aquatic fossils in a rock layer means that area was covered in water when that rock layer formed
  • Finding fossils of organisms that lived on land means it was not covered in water when the rock layer was formed

Scientists who study fossils and ancient life!


Paleontologists use clues provided by fossils to make conclusions about past events. Finding a fossil in a rock layer means the rock layer formed when the organism type was living. When fossils are found, they must be excavated carefully so they are not damaged. Scientists use large paint-brushes and X-ray machines to find and examine them!Some examples of clues fossils provide:

Didn't prepare your fossil box?that's okay!

You can either make the box, let it sit 2 hours and complete the assignment later. OR complete the other option that will be discussed later!