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Paleontology Teaching Activities


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Depositional Environments and Geologic History Labs part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is a pair of labs that incrementally prepare students to interpret the geologic history of a rock sequence. The first lab introduces students to depositional environments and fossils. The second lab presents a ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Biozones, stratigraphic log correlation, and corresponding interpretation of paleoenvironments. part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This exercise is a guided opportunity for any number of students (even hundreds) to start using recently learned, lower-level knowledge about stratigraphy and biostratigraphy in an integrative, interpretation ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Estimating the spreading rate of Atlantic and Pacific ridges part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Given maps of bathymetry of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, students estimate spreading rate of each ridge writing a matlab script that plots a line of bathymetry, and calculated bathymetry as a function of spreading ...

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.

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.

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.

My Favorite Dead Thing part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a short writing assignment asking the students to write about their favorite extinct organism. This gives the students a chance to explore something that they find interesting and at the same time link it ...

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.

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.

Exploring the nature of geoscience using cartoon cards part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this activity, students work in groups to put a set of cartoon cards in order, much in the way that we might assemble a geologic history. The primary goal of the activity is to explore the nature of science in general and the nature of geoscience or historical science specifically, without requiring any content knowledge.

Ground Penetrating Radar Survey of a Cemetery: Interpretation part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
This activity is an interpretation of a ground penetrating radar (GPR) data set collected from a 19th century slave cemetery in North Carolina.

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.

Using NOAA NCDC Pollen Database to study vegetation history part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
This lab exercise uses SiteSeer, a public domain software available through NOAA/NCDC, to learn how to retrieve and query the NOAA NCDC pollen database. Students first work through a set of simple exercises that ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.

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. -