"The Secrets Fossils Tell"




Given the proper materials, student will make an imprint in plaster of paris.
Students will use observation skills to compare and contrast the imprint with a real fossil print.
SWBAT identify animals that can be fossilized.


hand lens
thin cardboard
petroleum jelly
plaster of paris
example of fossil
computer with Microsoft Word


1.  What did the students do with their hands in the book, Fossils Tell of Long Ago by, Aliki?
2. Today we are going to make our own fossils.  What do fossils tell us?  What are extinct animals?
3.  Hard parts of animals, such as bones or shells, become fossils. Quick burial helps protect bones and shells from weathering and erosion.
4.  Once you have your materials, follow these steps by watching me:
        a. Make a ball of clay. Make it flat .
        b. Push the shell into the top.
        c. Coat the shell and the clay with petroleum jelly.
        d. Make a ring with the cardboard strip. Push it into the clay.
        e. Pour plaster of paris into the ring to dry.
        f. Remove the ring, shell, and clay. Study the print with a hand lens.
        g.  Set it in a safe place
5.  -How is this print like a real fossil?  (Both are imprints of organisms)
-How is this print different from a real fossil?  (A fossil is any evidence of preexisting life preserved in Earth's rocks)
6.)  Could someone find a fossil of a worm? (no, there are no hard parts to a worm)


Students will use a table in Word to list animals that could become fossils.
Students will  use a table in Word to list animals that could not become fossils.