FOSSIL RECORD:
 Rockin' Remains of Our Ancient Past
Designed by Mrs. K. Thomas for the 3rd Grade Trail Riders


Did you ever wonder:
What the land and oceans 
looked like at different time periods?
What kind of organisms lived in the past?
How scientist find and study such organisms from the past?
Why scientists think these discoveries are so important anyway?
If you have, then follow T-Rex's lead.
 Dig in and learn from the fossil record.


1. Do you know what a fossil is? Check out this easy to use Zoom Dinosaur site to find out
2. Do you need pictures to help you understand a new idea? If you do, then dig into this site to see a cartoon illustrated picture story of how a fossil forms.
3. Do you think a fossil movie would make it even clearer to you? If so, click this cool BrainPop site and meet Tim and Moby at the movies.
4.  Would you know where to look for fossils? You must begin by knowing a little about rocks. See if you are a natural at fossil hunting.
5. Now, would you know where to start looking for dinosaur fossils? Check your paleontology smarts here.
(After clicking on the this site, choose the rock you think is most likely to contain dinosaur fossils--it will tell you if your answer is correct.)
6. Does every living thing become a fossil after it dies? Come along on this tour and find out just how a plant or animal does get into the fossil record. (Simply click on the seashell labeled NEXT to go from page to page on this site.)
7. Have you ever heard or read the word Paleontology? Do you know what it means? Find out if you have the right idea at this site.
8. How many fossil specimens would you estimate that a paleontologist would find on a typical day in the Gobi Desert? 
1, 5, 20, 50, or 100? Click on this fossil hunters' site to check your estimation skills.
9. How would you like to go on a dig with some real paleontologists? Tag along with paleontologist Amy as she locates and excavates a fossilized lizard in the Gobi Desert.
(On this site, simply follow the red looping arrows to go from page to page. When finished with the tour, hit the browser back button to get back here to your TopicQuest.)
10. How many steps do you think it would take to build a dinosaur? Would you like to learn how to build a dinosaur? Grab your notebook and pencil and take notes from famous paleontologist, Paul Sereno.
11. Have you heard about the sensational Sue? If you answered, "Who is Sue?" Then this site is for you. You just may be shocked by what you learn! Be sure to read Sue's Statistics, they are sensational!
12. "Super Croc" is his name. Find out all the facts about this recent discovery made by Paul Sereno and his team of paleontologists. 
13. Would you believe SuperCroc not only roamed with Dinosaurs, but ate them? Read more about this unbelievable prehistoric creature. Be sure to read the SuperCroc Statistics, at the bottom of the story.

Tools of the Paleontologist



 
 
 
 

Your Mission #1: 
The Delicate Dino Dilemma 
You are a member of the  YJP (Young Junior Paleontologists). Your group has just made the discovery of a lifetime--you have found a dinosaur. The bones of your discovery are over 135 million years old and very fragile. You and your fellow group members do not have enough experience at excavation (getting fossils out of the ground). Your group contacted the National Association of Paleontologists (NAP) for expert advice. The NAP recommended you consult Paul Sereno and David Varrichio, two outstanding paleontologists. 

You have been elected by your YJP group to contact these expert professional paleontologists for their advice. It is your job to outline the steps necessary to excavate these delicate dinosaur bones. The YJP is depending on you. Get busy consulting the experts and creating your clear and understandable "Easy Excavation" plan for your group.

Steps to Complete Your Mission:

1. First, consult with some experts and take notes in your science journal of what they have to say about digging up bones. 
Paul Sereno has some tips from his excavation of Jobaria, a dinosaur found in Africa. 
David Varrichio and Paul Sereno give more step by step instructions as they uncover and remove more dinosaur bones found in Mongolia.
**Remember take notes of the steps in your journal
2. Click here and print out activity sheet. Read the text, and then complete the numbering of the steps on the worksheet.
3. Write and illustrate the steps for excavating fossils on large construction, poster or chart paper. You may use pencils, crayons or markers.
4. Explain the steps, using your poster, to the your fellow members of the Young Junior Paleontologist Team. (Your classmates may act as your fellow YJP members.)  Thanks to you, the YJP team is ready to excavate your dinosaur!

Georgia 3rd grade QCC's
SCIENCE- Standard 16: Discusses how fossils are formed. constructs a fossil. Identifies where fossils are formed and discusses how fossils are uncovered.
 TECHNOLOGY- Standard 10:  Uses technology to gather information, communicate with others.
 


 

Rubric for Mission #1

Georgia
Quality
Core
Curriculum
Beginning

1

Developing

2

Accomplished

3

Score
3rd Grade
SCIENCE- 
Standard 16: Discusses how fossils are formed. constructs a fossil. Identifies where fossils are formed and discusses how fossils are uncovered.
Student
discusses how fossils are uncovered using few details of the steps.

 

Student
discusses how fossils are uncovered using some details of the  steps.
Student
discusses
how fossils are uncovered using many details of the steps.
 
3rd Grade
TECHNOLOGY- Standard 10:  Uses technology to gather information, communicate with others.
Student uses technology to gather information with extra help or assistance. Student uses technology to gather information with some help or assistance. Student uses technology to gather information without help or assistance.  

Printable Rubric for Mission #1



 
 
 
 
 
 

Your Mission #2:
Sensational Sizes 
 

The editor of Science Spin, a children's magazine just contacted you and asked for your help on a upcoming issue featuring Prehistoric Creatures. Your job is to create a teaching chart that will compare two recent famous fossil discoveries; Tyrannosaurus Sue and SuperCroc. The comparison data should include facts about their size and age in an easy to read chart. Science Spin readers will use the chart to answer comparison questions about the two creatures. It is also your job to write these comparison questions. You have completed similar assigments for this magazine, so the editor has complete faith in your ability to complete this assignment by the deadline.

Steps to Complete Mission #2 

1. Review the stats on Tyrannosaurus Sue at this site. Write down info for Sue's: 
(printable chart)
  • Weight
  • Length
  • Height
  • Age
  • Head size
2. Review SuperCroc's stats at this site. Write down SuperCroc's:
  • Weight
  • Length
  • Height
  • Age
  • Head size (skull)
3. Create a chart that includes these stats for both creatures.

4. Write at least 5 questions using your mathematical data for the creatures.Write math comparison questions using the information in your chart. (examples: How much longer is Sue than SuperCroc? or Who had the larger head?)
 

5. Test your chart and questions on your fellow classmates.







Georgia 3rd grade Quality Core Curriculum
MATH- Standard 35: 
Employs problem-solving strategies (e.g. draw a picture; make a chart, graph, or table;    guess and check; look for a pattern).
TECHNOLOGY- Standard 10:
Uses technology to gather information, communicate with others.

Rubric for Mission #2

Georgia
Quality
Core
Curriculum
Beginning

1

Developing

2

Accomplished

3

Score
 MATH 
Standard 35: 
Employs problem-solving strategies (e.g. draw a picture; make a chart, graph, or table;    guess and check; look for a pattern).
Employs problem-solving strategies to make a chart  with extra help or assistance. Employs problem-solving strategies to make a chart  with some help or assistance. Employs problem-solving strategies to make a chart  without  help or assistance.  
3rd Grade
TECHNOLOGY- 
Standard 10:
Uses technology to gather information, communicate with others.
Student uses technology to gather information with extra help or assistance. Student uses technology to gather information with some help or assistance. Student uses technology to gather information without help or assistance.  

Printable Rubric for Mission #2



 
 
 
 
 
 
 


More Rockin'
TopicQuests

email 
kthomas@decatur.k12.ga.us

Mrs. K. Thomas'
Trail Riders