Dinosaur Footprints

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Link to Resource: http://www.agiweb.org/education/aapg/invest/invest2.html
Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Organization:American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Summary:Trace fossils, which are physical evidence of life activities of now vanished organisms, are more prevalent than body (bones) fossils. One organism can leave behind many traces (e.g. footprints), but only one set of hard parts (e.g. bones) actually becomes a fossil. Trace fossils include tracks, trails, burrows, feeding marks, and resting marks. Trace fossils are valuable to paleontologists, because they can tell us more about the behavior of the ancient organisms. The purpose of this investigation is to give the students the opportunity to describe what they see, and to use evidence and logical reasoning to support an explanation. They will be able to duplicate the experience of paleontologists, who make observations and use these observations as evidence to develop scientific explanations about what the behavior of ancient organisms. They will learn that, as scientists learn new things and make more observations, their explanations often change.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 1; Big Idea 2
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:LS4.A
NGSS Performance Expectations:3-LS4-1; MS-LS4-1; MS-LS4-2
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Analyzing and interpreting data; Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Patterns; Scale, proportion, and quantity
Subjects: 6-8; dinosaur; elementary school; fossil; k-5 geosource; middle school
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