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Paleontology Teaching Activities


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

Predator-Prey Interactions in Modern Settings part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
A project on predator-prey interactions in modern marine settings, with emphasis on developing student skills in producing and analyzing paleontologic data. Project designed by Prof. Sara Pruss at Smith College.

Could you outrun a dinosaur part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Hands-on measurements of a dinosaur trackway, calculation of dinosaur speeds, etc.

Dendrochronology: Linking life and climate in the past part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
In this exercise students explore; 1) how climate variables influence tree growth on historical and/or geological timescales, and 2) how climatic records are generated from biogenic chronologies. The exercise ...

Evolution vs. Creationism Term Paper Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
A term paper assigned for a Evolution vs. Creationism freshman seminar class. The purpose of this assignment is to allow students to critically evaluate one aspect of the Evolution vs. Creationism debate.

Quaternary Faunal Environments part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This project uses the online database FAUNMAP to compare the spatial distribution of mammals during the late Quaternary. Comparisons are made with the spatial distribution of a variety of extinct and extant taxa. ...

Biostratigraphy of the Crystal Peak Dolomite, Ibex, UT part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students participated in measuring a section and collecting samples for real research. It is part of a flexible field course Prior student experience varies widely in this course.

Dinosaurs of Moab, UT part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This activity was delegated to an expert (Rod Scheetz, BYU) It is part of a flexible field course Student experience varies widely in this course.

The Natural Selection Game part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This game simulates the effect of natural selection on two populations - a predator species and a prey species. The game was developed by Robert P. Gendron, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and I have modified ...

Eocene Exposure Field Trip part of Activities
This field trip visits an exposure near Aiken, South Carolina in Eocene, unconsolidated, clayey quartz sand with abundant trace fossils Ophiomorpha ichnosp. and Ophiomorpha nodosa. Early in the course, this trip ...

The Four-Winged Dinosaur part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This is assignment is completed in two parts: It begins in class with a showing of the Nova documentary "The Four-Winged Dinosaur." It continues as a homework assignment in which students write a short ...

Geologic and Navajo Time Line part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
Students develop a time line using registrar tape and correlating marking off divisions of geologic eras. Above this they develop a Navajo time line of creation. Each week they focusing on the topic (era/period) of ...

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 ...

A Traverse Through Time and Space: A Paleoenvironmental Analysis of Devonian Strata in New York State part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This is a field-based mini-project that requires students to synthesize their field data to 1) determine the depositional environments both across New York State (from the Catskills, NY to Rochester, NY) during ...

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.