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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Great Fossil Find

The high temps have made outside nature study not as much fun, but we still like to get some fun science studies in during the summer.  What to do?

What could be more fun than “digging up” a dinosaur and trying to assemble the bones?

The Great Fossil Find is a free curriculum resource that I actually used with my oldest the very first year we homeschooled (2nd grade), and the materials are still available for free to download.  This one got 2 thumbs up from all 4 kiddos this time around.

What is the Great Fossil Find?

The premise is that you pretend to be paleontologists on a fossil dig.  Each day of the dig, you unearth some random (paper) fossils and attempt to assemble the animal’s skeleton.  You can spread this out over a school week (the activity divides it up into 5 days) or do it in an afternoon (we did it in an afternoon).  Along the way, you’ll discover some of the difficulties paleontologists have when reconstructing extinct species and you’ll get a chance to compare your skeleton to the skeletons of some modern animals.

Caveat:  For those who are sensitive to the topic of evolution:  this lesson is provided by ENSI (Evolution & the Nature of Science Institutes), and the main lesson page has evolution in the title.  However, the pdf materials that we printed and used do not talk about evolution at all, nor does the activity directly imply evolution.  As always, I do recommend reading over materials before using them with your children.
Go to the site and click on the Click Here link that looks like this:

CLICK HERE for
PDF files of materials
for easy downloading

You will be able to download two different versions of paper fossils to be cut out, a log page for recording findings, a narrative (there are 2 different ones to choose from), instructions, and an animal fossil resource guide.

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They did have fun with it.

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Linking to:

You might also like:
Flying Fish Unit Study
Hammerhead Sharks Unit Study
Free Planning Pages

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