Carolina Biological K-8 Curriculum - March 2023

Adventures in Paleontology: 36 Classroom Fossil Activities (e-book)

by: Thor Hansen and Irwin Slesnick

Millions of years after vanishing from the Earth, dinosaurs still have the power to stir students’ curiosity. Deepen that interest with Adventures in Paleontology, a series of lively hands-on activities especially for middle schoolers.

This beautifully illustrated full color book features 36 activities that open students up to a variety of foundational sciences, including biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy.
For example:
• “How Do Fossils Form?” discusses how organisms become fossils and illustrates the concept with activities that simulate fossil-making processes.
• “What Can You Learn From Fossils?” explores what fossils teach about ancient organisms.
• “Mass Extinction and Meteor Collisions With Earth” discusses recently discovered links between meteor and asteroid impacts on Earth and the demise of animals like dinosaurs.

Other chapters cover how to tell the age of the Earth; how dinosaurs evolved; and diversity, classification, and taxonomy. The final chapters offer humanistic perspectives on fossils in literature and art. As an attention-grabbing complement to the text, vivid full color illustrations show not just skeletons and animal tracks but also what dinosaurs probably looked like in their natural settings. Handy line drawings guide students through each step of the activities.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: How Do Fossils Form?


• Activity 1, Making a mold and cast

• Activity 2, Making a mold and cast of your teeth

• Activity 3, Simulating permineralization

• Activity 4, Molecule-for-molecule replacement of fossils

• Activity 5, Fossils in strata

• Activity 6, Inventing ways to make fossils of grapes and bananas

• Activity 7, Fossils in amber

Chapter 2: What Can You Learn From Fossils

Introduction: Scientific Inquiry

• Activity 1, Inferring the characteristics of people from their hands

• Activity 2, Reconstructing Scaphognathus crassirostris

• Activity 3, Restoring Scaphognathus crassirostris

• Activity 4, Tracking dinosaurs

• Activity 5, Weighing dinosaurs

• Activity 6, Learning the bones

• Activity 7, Hatching and death on Egg Island

• Activity 8, Predation

• Activity 9, What was the purpose of the plates on the back of Stegosaurus?

Chapter 3: Mass Extinction and Meteor Collisions With Earth


• Activity 1, Searching for micrometeorites

• Activity 2, Calculating the energy of incoming rocks from space

• Activity 3, Modeling impact craters

• Activity 4, What happens to Earth when the energy of an asteroid or

• comet is released in the rock and atmosphere of Earth?

Chapter 4: How Are Fossils Collected and Prepared?


• Activity 1, Preparing a fossil fish

• Activity 2, Making fossil replicas

• Activity 3, Microfossils

Chapter 5: How Can You Tell the Age of Earth?


• Activity 1,The duration of time since Earth was formed

Chapter 6: How Did Dinosaurs Evolve?


• Activity 1, Archaeopteryx, Compsognathus, and Gallus domesticus

• Activity 2, Homology

• Activity 3, The method of cladistics

• Activity 4, Rates of evolution of Ceratopsia and contemporary reptiles

Chapter 7: Diversity, Classification, and Taxonomy


• Activity 1, The ages of the reptiles, the archosaurs (dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and crocodiles), and the theraspida (mammals)

• Activity 2, How big was Ultrasaurus macIntosh?

• Activity 3, The worldwide distribution of dinosaurs

• Activity 4, Measuring diversity

Chapter 8: Fossils in Society


• Activity 1, Coal, petroleum, and natural gas

• Activity 2, Making thin peels of coal balls to view ancient plants

Chapter 9: When Are Fossils Art?


• Activity1, Dinosaur art contest

• Activity 2, Fossil works of art




Type e-bookPub Date 1/1/2006Stock # PKEB201X

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