Mary Anning: An artistic look at the "Princess of Paleontology"
In this classroom activity students will listen to the story Stone Girl Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning. They will discuss what fossils are and how they are made. Students will complete an observation drawing of some common fossils from the twin cities area.
Context for Use
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Intermediate (3-5)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Paleontology
Description and Teaching Materials
Procedure- Show students the fossils gathered from Lilydale Regional Park in St. Paul, MN. Ask the students to journal/ sketch the fossils for about 10 minutes. Gather the students and ask them about the items they were sketching. Read Stone Girl Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning and ask them to listen for clues about what the word fossil might mean. Have the students think/pair/share their fossil definitions. Explain that a fossil is the hard parts of the animal, buried rapidly, left alone for a very long time where chemical alteration occurs. Permineralization is the pore space in bone, shell, or wood that is filled by minerals, especially silica. Briefly explain how sedimentary rocks are formed. (This could be done in a prior lesson more in depth) Point out how the fine material that limestone is composed of is a perfect place to create fossils. Show examples of Mary Anning's artwork created at the age of 12. Ask students to create a new drawing of their fossils adding as much detail as possible. While students are drawing pass out the Ordovician Fossils of Minnesota Twin Cities Area identification sheet. Ask students who finish early to identify the fossils at their table. They should use labels such as Brachiopods, Bryozoans, and Crinoids.
Extensions- Add color to drawings with colored pencils, watercolors or crayon, retrace pencil lines with marker. Add a background to drawings. Field trip to Lilydale Regional Park in St. Paul, Mn. [file 'Website for Lilydale park and fossil types handout. www.stpaul.gov/index.asp?NID=1560'] Mary Anning's Drawings (Acrobat (PDF) 35kB Jul20 08) Mary Anning's Drawings (Acrobat (PDF) 11kB Jul20 08) Mary Anning's Drawings (Acrobat (PDF) 122kB Jul20 08)
Teaching Notes and Tips
5.IV.E.3 - compare fossils