Friday, May 29, 2015

You Be the Paleontologist

published on: 2/28/2003

Contributing Teacher(s): Calene Cooper

Subject Area: Science/Earth

Grade Range: Middle Grades (6-8)

Materials Needed: Rocks containing crinoids, glue, small nails, 4x6 index cards, colored pencils, diagram of a sea lily

Process Standards:

  • Goal 1.4 use technological tools and other resources to locate, select and organize information

Content Standards:

  • Science 4. Changes in ecosystems and interactions of organisms with their environments

    Time Allowance: Varies

    Description: Students explore the Missouri State Fossil, Crinoids.

    Classroom Component: Take your students back in time with the study of the crinoid, the Missouri State Fossil. I go out and collect rocks containing abundant quantities of crinoids. These can be found easily in limestone in Missouri.

    Every student is given a small rock and must observe and sketch it carefully. They must mass and find the area of the rock to incorporate some measurement. Then the art of paleontology begins by each student digging into their rock using a common nail. After getting out as many crinoids as possible, they mass the crinoids and find the percent of rock that was crinoids.

    Now to help students understand the history of the crinoid such as environment, parts of the crinoid, and its functions, students research the crinoid. Using their research and the crinoids they found, they construct the crinoid on a 4x6 index card. They glue down their crinoids and draw in the missing parts. (This helps them realize that all parts do not fossilize.)

    Next, students label all the parts. Students are always proud to share and display their reconstructed piece of earth's history, the crinoid. Happy Digging!

    For additional information contact :
    Calene Cooper
    West Jr. High
    Columbia 93
    (573) 886-2760

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