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Tips for Fossil Education


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Hi! I'll be teaching a group of kids about Geology this summer via 4H, and I'm looking for suggestions on activities/topics/etc that we can cover related to fossils. I'm planning for two meetings on fossils (one invertebrate and one vertebrate), with the rest covering a host of other geology topics. I have some general ideas, but I'm hoping to gather lots of suggestions. I'm mostly looking for ideas on different activities that we can do. I'll be bringing some of my personal collection for display, but I want this to be as hands on as possible (and yes, we will be doing field trips). Any sort of activity that will keep kids engaged.

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DevonianDigger

Are you doing the geologic timeline activity? You take a rope and mark off spots on it with colored tape that correspond to the major events in the geologic timeline. Then you make cards that have each of the events on them. You have the kids take the cards and come up and find the spot on the rope they believe corresponds with the appropriate event. The idea is to try and space the markers on the rope relative to their positions so that the kids get a visual representation of the spaces between—for example—the beginning of life on Earth and the emergence of the dinosaurs. If you PM me I might be able to provide you some additional materials. As a school teacher as well as lead fossil educator for Penn Dixie, I've learned a few tricks!

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I'll PM you! In short, yes I am planning on covering the geologic time scale. Below is the list of topics we are covering:

 

Rock ID (sed/ig/met)

Mineralogy/Crystallography

Geologic Time

Plate Tectonics

Invertebrate Fossils

Vertebrate Fossils

Volcanoes

Structural

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fossilsonwheels

I have found kids to be pretty interested in the process involved in fossilization and how fossils from the same animal can look very different depending on formation.  The biggest hit for us is by far hands on examination of fossils. Even kids not into fossils have gotten into fossils when you give them some to handle and examine. You also can do a fairly inexpensive fossil dig activity. I am not sure how long of a time slot you need to fill but anything hands-on with fossils will get them pretty excited. Best of luck to you. It sounds like a great education endeavor.

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Manticocerasman

I've done a simmilar presentation, I first coverd the proces of fossilisation, and I then talked about local geology and the fossils that can be found in them.

 

I can send you the link to the prezi presentation if you like.

 

 

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Fossildude19

Plenty of material and ideas out there! 

I love hearing about this type of community outreach.  :) 

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