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Paleontology Teaching Activities


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The Unknown Fossil Report part of Activities
Students each receive a fossil of unknown identity. They describe the specimen in as much detail as possible. They interpret as much information as they can from the specimen.

Oral Presentation of a Fossil Group part of Activities
Students present a 10 minute Powerpoint presentation on a fossil group of their interest. Illustrations and handouts are required.

Jurassic Park Debate part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This role-playing exercise casts students as scientific specialists, assigned to a group either supporting or opposing the cloning of dinosaurs. Each group researches and presents its argument. -

An Interactive Game Approach to Learning in Historical Geology and Paleontology part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
The instructor uses a series of games to help students identify and answer questions about fossils. The game grows more complex over time as the instructors add rules and phyla to identify. -

Calibrated Peer ReviewTM: Discovering Dinosaurs part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
In this activity, students write an essay on the history of scientific discoveries in the field of dinosaur paleontology. -

JiTT - Exploring Geoarchaeology part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) How is climate connected to geoarchaeology? Explain. 2) List as many "tools" you can think of that would be useful to a geoarchaeologist and describe why it would be of use. 3) Is geoarchaeological ...

JiTT - Ethics of Fossil Collecting part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What do you think it means for a fossil resource to be "abused"? 2) What's the issue with fossil hunting on federal land (such as National Parks)? Explain what your interpretation of the conflict ...

GEOLogic: Museums and their Dinosaur Displays part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are asked to match up five top Museums with 2 fossils that they have on display based on clues presented from various points of view.

GEOLogic: Lagerstatten and Unique Fossils part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are asked to match up several unique fossils with the site and location where it was found and it's geologic age.

GEOLogic: The Three Stooges and Their Pet Dinosaurs part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are asked to match up each of the Stooges with their favorite group and species of dinosaur based on clues given from different perspectives.

GEOLogic: State Fossils part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are asked to identify states with their state fossil and the year in which it was declared, based on clues given from various points of view.

GEOLogic: Dinosaur Trackways part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students must associate different dinosaur trackways with their locations and the rock formations containing the trackways based on clues given from various points of view.

Mary Anning: An artistic look at the "Princess of Paleontology" part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This lesson is a classroom activity where students learn about paleontologist Mary Anning, briefly learn about sedimentary rock, and complete observation drawings of Platteville Limestone fossils.

Identifying Fossils: Exploring the Mississippi River Bluffs part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a geology lab where students learn about fossils found in sedimentary rocks and show their understanding by writing a literary nonfiction paper from the perspective of one of those fossils.

Investigating Fossils and living organisms part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
In this lab, students will observe and compare fossils with living organisms.

Make a Model Fossil part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a combination outdoor/indoor lab where students will collect natural materials from the environment and use them to create both a mold and cast model of a fossil. Students will learn how a fossil is formed and why scientists use models to help them understand how things work and develop.

How Old is that Thing on that Rock? part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is an observational activity where studentobserve differnt fossils and predict what they are seeing and how old it might be.

Indentification of Earth Materials part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
By presenting the students with fossils and other earth materials and giving clues as to their origin, they will be able to identify the fossils and materials and be able to form a hypothesis as to how they were formed and what it was before preservation.

Fauna of Waulsortian Mounds part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This is a field trip to local exposures of potential waulsortian carbonate mud mounds. The students will prepare by reading 1-2 publications on the subject and then we will travel to see and collect samples from ...

Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology exercise part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
Simple classroom activity to highlight how cyclostratigraphy and concepts of astronchronology can be used to refine age control in sedimentary rocks, estimate rates of processes, and for time control and ...

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