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Sharks Discover Dinosaurs and Fossils

School News November 16, 2021
Sharks Discover Dinosaurs and Fossils

Imagine what it would be like to be a paleontologist? This term the Shark Class had this very opportunity in their Topic class Dinosaurs and Fossils, experiencing the wonder of what it would be like to be a paleontologist and beginning to generate questions and intrigue about fossils.

They started their studies in this topic with a dino-dictionary, gaining a clearer understanding of the vocabulary and terms associated with dinosaur fossils and paleontology.

During their lessons they were able to recognize that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago. The excavation lesson applied the famous theories of Vygotsky, Schön and Kolb - the fathers of today’s most noted theorists in education.

Following Vygotsky’s constructivist theory, the excavation activity required the students to cooperate, collaborate and be reflective while completing the excavation process.

In pairs they worked to excavate a fossil block, generating questions about fossils, hypothesizing about what they might find, sketching their findings and taking notes on the process. The note taking activity was underpinned with use of descriptive adjectives providing a connection to previous English language classes.

Once the students had uncovered their fossils, they were given the task of researching their dinosaur. They researched online to discover which fossil they had exposed and investigated facts about height, weight, diet, life span, habitat, while also taking notes on the data, details and creating a sketch of their fossil’s appearance when alive.

In the second part of our fossil discovery, students continued to develop their paleontologist expertise, researching the three main epochs of fossils, and putting them on a timeline gaining further understanding of fossil categories and recognition of the difference between body fossils, trace fossils and key paleontological terms.

 

Students worked in teams and were provided with the key eras to be researched (Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic) they explored through online research where different fossils appear on the timeline. Following their research, they created a fossil layer with flip flaps and images that contained key facts about fossils that could be found in their specific era.

During these lessons our Sharks participated with enthusiasm and curiosity and enjoyed learning about the fascinating prehistoric creatures that once inhabited the Earth.