Fossilization Sequencing Lesson Plan: How Bones Become Fossils

Submitted by: Angela Watson

Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-3, students use BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore how a bone becomes a fossil. Students play a sequencing game recounting the steps of fossilization, and then create their own sequencing game.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify how a bone becomes a fossil.
  2. Create a sequencing game recounting the steps of fossilization.

Materials:

  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • LCD projector or interactive whiteboard
  • One large piece of card stock or construction paper for each child
  • Pencils and coloring utensils for each child
  • An envelope or small plastic baggie for each child

Vocabulary:

fossil; extinct; sediment; paleontologist; decompose

Preparation:

Preview the BrainPOP Jr. Fossils Movie. You may wish to click the 'Print Notebook' icon and distribute or project copies of Annie's notebook questions for students to respond to during and after the movie.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Display the Word Wall for the class to see. Challenge students to define the vocabulary terms in their own words or tell what they already know about the topic.
  2. Play the Fossils Movie for students. Turn on the closed captioning to aid students in comprehension. If desired, play the movie through a second time and have students talk about or write down their responses to Annie's notebook questions.
  3. Project the Sequence Order Game and have students recount the order of events in which a bone becomes a fossil.
  4. Invite students to create their own sequence game. They should write, illustrate, and color the steps of fossilization, beginning with the death of an animal. You may want to challenge students to come up with more than five steps so that their game conveys additional details.
  5. Check the cards for accuracy, and have students cut them apart. Students may want to label the back of the cards in numerical order (putting a 1 on the first card, 2 on the second card, etc.) if you want the sequence game to be self-checking.
  6. Have students exchange their sequence game with a friend and see if they can put the cards in the correct order. If students have labeled the card backs with the answers, their partners can flip the cards over to see if they're correct.
  7. Give students baggies or envelopes to store their sequence games in. The games can be placed in the science center for students to explore on their own later.

Extension Activity:

Encourage students to make sequence games for other scientific topics as you learn about them throughout the year. The other topics in our Land Unit can be used as springboards for further instruction and activities.