Always dig in a safe areafree from hazardous
Questions to Ask
What do you know about fossils? What would you like to learn about
fossils? How can we learn it? These questions may lead you to a
discussion of dinosaurs. There is much information about these prehistoric
animals, and children of all ages are very interested in this topic.
Tips for Less Mess: This is a perfect activity for the outdoors,
but if you work inside, a few precautions will help with clean up.
Cover the work surface with newspaper; keep paper towels and a garbage
bag handy; and have a broom and dustpan available.
By studying these fossils, paleontologists have determined how
fast some dinosaurs moved and what extinct organisms looked like
To be a paleontologist and pretend to discover and care for found
What You Need Paper carton (such as a milk carton) or plastic container
*Clay or clay soil (Clay can be found naturally along streambeds
and beneath the grass under the topsoil.)
Small plastic animals
What to Do
Go on an excursion to look for clay soil. If possible, dig some
up to use for this exploration. Place it in the paper or plastic
container and add a bit of water. Stir with a stick, adding more
water until it becomes a thick paste. Bury seashells or other
material and then tap the mold to compress the mud. Place in the
sun or a warm place to dry. When dry and hard, peel off the paper
and dig out or excavate the fake fossils you buried.
Clay: A kind of soil made up of very fine, flat mineral particles
that stick together.
Excavate: To remove by digging or scooping
Fossils: Remnants of plants and animals preserved in stone. Fossils
are very old and are formed only under special environmental conditions.
Paleontologist: A scientist that studies fossils.
Trace fossils: Fossils of footprints that prehistoric animals
What else would you like to bury in the mud? How long do you think
it would take to dry?
Make trace fossils using small plastic or rubber animals. Would
you want to make your own footprintswith or without shoes?
How would you do it?