Natural History & Geology
Common Core Standards:
- RS.6-8.1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
- RS.9-10.3. Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out technical tasks.
- RS.9-10.4. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context.
- Have available a variety of fossil samples gathered in the field or as part of a classroom collection.
- Introduce the activity by sharing the various fossil samples. Point out noteworthy characteristics, similarities and differences.
- Read aloud or have students read independently the introduction on the worksheet. Reinforce the basic inputs of location and shape for identifying fossils.
- Introduce the step by step directions for navigating the Paleontology Portal website. Read through these together if necessary.
- Have students work in pairs or independently to identify their samples using the Paleontology Portal tools. The teacher should circulate to help direct the inquiry and trouble shoot technical problems.
- Have students fill out their worksheets as they work through the identification process.
- Once most students have identified their sample, have them share their findings. If any students were unable to make a positive identification, discuss the features that created problems for them.
Fossil samples, Access to internet, Fossil Identification worksheet
Students may want to identify additional fossil samples. The Paleontology Portal website has many other features that students may wish to explore; www.paleoportal.org.