Adventures in Paleontology: 36 Classroom Fossil Activities

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NSTA Press, 2006 - Education - 129 pages
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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 colour book feaatures 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 processe.s "What Can You Learn From Fossils?" explores what fossils teach about ancient organisms, and "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 perspective on fossils in literature and art. As an attention-grabbing complement to the text, vivid full colour illustrations show not just skeletons and animal tracks but also what dinosaurs probably looked like in their natural setting. Handy line drawings guide students through each step of the activities.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION How Are Fossils Collected and Prepared?
59
ACTIVITY 1 Preparing a fossil fish
60
ACTIVITY 2 Making fossil replicas
63
ACTIVITY 3 Microfossils
65
INTRODUCTION How Can You Tell the Age of Earth?
69
ACTIVITY 1 The duration of time since Earth was formed
70
INTRODUCTION How Did Dinosaurs Evolve?
73
ACTIVITY 1 Archaeopteryx Compsognathus and Gallus domesticus
74

INTRODUCTION What Can You Learn From Fossils?
13
INTRODUCTION
14
ACTIVITY 1 Inferring the characteristics of people from their hands
17
ACTIVITY 2 Reconstructing Scaphognathus crassirostris
20
ACTIVITY 3 Restoring Scaphognathus crassirostris
23
ACTIVITY 4 Tracking dinosaurs
24
ACTIVITY 5 Weighing dinosaurs FIGURE 222
31
ACTIVITY 6 Learning the bones
33
ACTIVITY 7 Hatching and death on Egg Island
36
ACTIVITY 8 Predation
40
ACTIVITY 8 What was the purpose of the plates on the back of Stegosaurus?
42
INTRODUCTION Mass Extinction and Meteor Collisions With Earth
49
ACTIVITY 1 Searching for micrometeorites
53
ACTIVITY 2 Calculating the energy of incoming rocks from space
54
ACTIVITY 3 Modeling impact craters
55
ACTIVITY 4 What happens when the energy of an asteroid or comet is released in the rock and atmosphere of Earth?
57
ACTIVITY 2 Homology
77
ACTIVITY 3 The method of cladistics
81
ACTIVITY 1 The ages of the reptiles the archosaurs dinosaurs pterosaurs and crocodiles and the therapsids mammals
90
ACTIVITY 2 How big was Ultrasaurus macIntosh?
94
ACTIVITY 3 The worldwide distribution of dinosaurs
96
ACTIVITY 4 Measuring diversity
99
INTRODUCTION Fossils in Society
105
ACTIVITY 1 Coal petroleum and natural gas
106
ACTIVITY 2 Making thin peels of coal balls to view ancient plants
108
INTRODUCTION When Are Fossils Art?
111
ACTIVITY 1 Dinosaur art contest
112
ACTIVITY 2 Fossil works of art
114
GLOSSARY
117
INDEX
123
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