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Friday, March 7, 2014

Project- Creating Paleontologist Field Journals

Last week we studied fossils in science, along with animals that are endangered, extinct, threatened, and thriving. We studied how plants and animals compete for resources and how habitats are changing. Honestly, we have been on this topic of study for some weeks and my students were really getting into it. So, this week I decided to see just how much my students have retained.

Each student was given their choice of scrapbook paper and we created mini-booklets. Each student was to title their journal the same: My Paleontologist Field Journal.

We were going to pretend that we were on dig sites all over the world. We reviewed continents, landforms, and bodies of water, and each student was to choose where they wanted their dig to be located. Then we started writing about just what was happening at our different dig sites. Here is one student's journal- she had an exciting trip.

Day 1- students were to tell where they were leading their team of paleontologists stating their continent and at least 3 landforms or bodies of water that can be found. At the bottom, they were to illustrate themselves with their team.

Day 2 part 1- Students were to describe their night at their camp. Some students said they were scared of the sounds of wild animals. Other students said it was peaceful and quiet. One student complained that someone on his team snored all night and passed gas. My students are seriously creative!
Then they had to tell where they were headed that day, and the equipment they packed in their backpacks- with illustrations!

Day 2 part 2- How was the hike? What did you find? Was it a bone or imprint? With illustrations!
This student said she found a brand new species of prehistoric fish. (while in a canyon in Australia) This is an impressive find!

Day 3- Research day. What type of animal was found? Based on the fossils, what can you tell about the size and species of the animal? What type of eater do you think it was?

Day 4- Packing up to go home. What did you find overall? What have you learned from this dig? What do you plan on ding with the fossils you have found? (She is donating hers to a university lab for further research)

Last, but not least, based on your findings, what do you think your animal might have looked like thousands of years ago?

At the end, students were given Play-doh and were told to create the fossils or imprints that they had found on their adventures. Again, I was totally impressed with their creativity. Here is the imprint she found of this new fish species.

I was so impressed with her work! In fact, all of my students did extremely well. Here are some more things my students found while on their different dig sites:


Fossilized human bones

Dinosaur/ Dragon

Leaf imprint

Fossilized dinosaur eggs
(this is identical to her picture in her journal!)

Fossilized jaguar bones

Dinosaur footprints

The kids had a blast with this! I can't wait to put these on display in the hallway!

If you'd like a copy of the journal, you can find it {HERE}!

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