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The Fossils Suitcase provides hands- on opportunities to discover what fossils are, how they are formed, and why they are important. Activities include classifying fossils, having a class "Fossil Dig", making fossil rubbings, and even making a "Fossil Sandwich".

Materials List


Baculites, Snail shells, petrified wood, fossil teeth, crinoids stems, and fern impressions.


Fossil Activity cards, magnifying lens, The Story of the Earth Poster, Fossils, Rocks and Time Booklet


Have the students classify the fossils by type (animal, plant) or by age, material, or any other classification. Let the students decide on how to classify them. Discuss and compare findings.

Have the students make their own fossils. Lesson plans included in the binder.

Hold a class "Fossil Dig". Plans included in the binder.
Make fossil rubbings. Compare with present day creatures or plants.

Study tree and leaf fossils. Draw the living tree these fossils came from. Would it be a pine type tree? A palm? How can you tell?

Pick a fossil from the collection. Draw a picture of it. Then draw a picture of what you think it may have looked like when it was alive. Write a short story explaining how this fossil may have been formed.

Except for seashells, the most common fossils are those of large animals who died near the water, often in swamps. What animals today do you think might become fossils? Write as many as you can think of. Then write another list of animals not likely to become fossils.

Make a "Strata Cake" to show how the layers of Earth stack up. Plans included in the binder.
Make a Fossil Sandwich. Plans included in the binder.
Have the students complete the "Puzzled by Fossils" crossword puzzle or the "Fossil Word Find". Included in the binder.

Arkansas Standards


With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.


Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.


Describe the difference when comparing two objects (side-by-side) with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has more of or less of the common attribute.


Designs can be conveyed through sketches, drawings, or physical models. These representations are useful in communicating ideas for a problem’s solutions to other people.


Patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed and used as evidence.


Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.


Participate in shared research and writing projects


Reason abstractly and quantitatively


Use appropriate tools strategically


Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.


Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.