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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

Fossils!

Project URL:
http://teachnet-lab.org/glasgold/fossilcontents.htm

How it works:
What child today is not enamored with dinosaurs! But how do we know anything at all about dinosaurs or other kinds of life that inhabited the Earth so long ago? The answer is in fossils. Fossils! engages the student in a study of how these fascinating surviving remnants from a past geologic age were formed, the different types of fossils, what they teach us about animals that once lived, and who some of the famous fossil hunters--or paleontologists--are and what they have found. The unit incorporates technology for the use of Internet-based research and interactive activities, and hands-on lessons where the students create their own fossils. After finishing this unit, each student can call him/herself an amateur paleontologist!

Standards addressed:  
Students gain an understanding of objects and materials and their properties, develop an understanding of big ideas and unifying concepts, and begin to ask questions about natural phenomena, events, and past discoveries. They identify problems, propose and implement solutions, and evaluate the accuracy, design, and outcome of investigations. They work individually and in teams to collect and share information and ideas, and use scientific notation to write their experiments.

Materials used:
Materials include a computer with Internet access for each student or group of students; a word processing program such as Apple Works or MS Word; and a drawing program like Kid Pix or HyperStudio.

The students:
The students are of average ability from grades 3-5, with good basic computer and Internet skills.


Overall value:
There are many great features of Fossils! Of course, the use of the computer for word processing, research, and drawing is an easy and enjoyable way to get children to learn about the topic. There are many hands-on activities that enable the students to create and learn about the different types of fossils while developing insight and appreciation for the work of the paleontologist.

Tips: 
Make sure
the students know how to use the Internet for research and find several sites they can go to and bookmark them. This prevents them from wasting time by going to irrelevant sites. Motivate students by showing them different fossils, either on the Internet or in class, and give out the rubric before starting the unit so they know exactly what to strive for.

   

About the teacher:
Bonnie Glasgold is a science enrichment teacher at P.S. 101, Brooklyn. She has been teaching for over twenty-five years and has been involved with Teachers Network for over six years. She uses the Workshop Model in her classes, and has written many curriculum units for TeachNet. She also conducts New Teachers' Online Survival Courses in classroom management and violence prevention.

Email:  bmglas@aol.com

Subject Areas:
Science
English
Technology

Grade Levels: 
3-5

 

 

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