Paleo Sleuths - Digging Deeper
The Great Plains have been the source of rich contributions to the study of paleontology, thanks to the work of paleo sleuths like these working to discover and uncover the fossil record that tells us about the pre-history of the Great Plains. The Lesson Plans and activities allow the educator and student to understand and interpret the study of Paleontology as it uncovers the book of time on earth.
This is an inquiry activity that will introduce students to the variety of fossils that can be found at Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park located north of Royal, Nebraska. Students will use what they have learned about describing fossils from previous activities to infer information, and identify cardstock representations of fossils to that of the real fossils found at Ashfall through research on the Ashfall website. Students will have four excavation opportunities to investigate and identify the animals at Ashfall. This activity takes 1-2 days to complete. This activity is an adaptation of the Great Fossil Find.
Students, as preparators, will make a fossil field jacket using a seashell fossil. Seashells are used because they are larger to manage for this activity and can be ordered in a larger quantity. Other fossils or rocks can be used depending on the size. Palm size is recommended. They will only cover the topside of the seashell fossil or other fossil in this activity.
This is an introductory inquiry activity where students carry out investigations, record data, and ask questions to build relationships between evidence and explanations. This activity can be used to build background knowledge about science and engineering investigative processes.