Quantitative Skills > Teaching Resources > Activities > GEOLogic: State Fossils

GEOLogic: State Fossils

Penn State University - Delaware County
Author Profile


GEOLogic questions are puzzles that were developed to support students understanding of geoscience concepts while challenging them to develop better logic and problem solving skills.
In this example, 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.

Learning Goals

Context for Use

This activity is appropriate for a high school science class or an introductory level undergraduate geoscience course. The activity can be given as an in class assignment or for homework.

Teaching Notes and Tips

See the author's paper under Resources.

Teaching Materials

Activity Sheet (Excel 18kB May30 06)


As long as the student makes a substantial effort towards solving the problem, they receive credit for the assignment. Alternatively, GEOLogic problems could be used as extra credit exercises which would be graded more rigorously.

References and Resources

Guertin, 2000 . Using Logic Problems in Introductory-Level Geoscience Courses to Develop Critical Reasoning and Basic Quantitative Skills, Journal of Geoscience Education, 48(4), 423.
- In this paper, the author describes the development and implementation of GEOLogic problems as well as her reasoning for the focus on logic problems and problem solving.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Subject: Geoscience:Paleontology
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Lab Activity
Special Interest: Quantitative
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12), College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level
Quantitative Skills: Problem Solving
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Earth System Topics: Time/Earth History
Topics: Time/Earth History
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Paleontology

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