Paleontology & Evolution
Denver’s Prehistoric Journey - Exploring the evidence of prehistoric life in the Prehistoric Journey exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The student pages were created to help students on their path through the Prehistoric Journey exhibit at the DMNS, located at 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO, 303-322-7009/1-800-925-2250.
Lesson Plan Links
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- Life Has a History - introduces students to the history of life and how it results in today's biodiversity.
- Getting Into the Fossil Record - helps students gain a basic understanding of what a fossil is and how a fossil forms. Need computer access, adaptable to elementary.
- Understanding Geologic Time - introduces students to geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth's history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the geologic time scale. Need computer access, adaptable to elementary.
- Stories From the Fossil Record - provides students with a basic understanding of how fossils can be used to interpret the past. There are four different pathways to explore: biodiversity, geologic time, paleoecology and past lives. Need computer access, adaptable to elementary.
- Adventures at Dry Creek - virtually engages students in scientific research. Students join "science mentors" to gather data and interpret direct and indirect evidence to propose multiple hypotheses of what life was like in Montana 60-70 million years ago. Need student computer access.
- Crocs, Then and Now (6-8) - This lesson has students investigate the geographical distributions, habitats, and other features of modern crocodilians and Super Croc (Sarcosuchus imperator). Students will consider the things we can learn about one species by studying the other. They will create Venn diagrams to compare and contrast one modern species with SuperCroc. They will conclude by writing paragraphs describing this comparison and explaining how each species helps us learn about the other. Need Internet connection.
- Learning From the Fossil Record - A collection of informative papers and activities to assist teachers in using paleontology and related fields to teach major concepts in science. They also help to tell part of the story of the Earth.
- Who's On First - A relative dating activity.
- Excavating Your Recycling Bin as a Fossil Record - Simulate how scientists study the past. Scientists use layers of rock with fossils to understand the past.
- Dinosaur Dig - To give a classroom experience of how difficult it is to interpret a paleontological discovery while being in a classroom environment. Uses wooden models of selected dinosaurs to demonstrate a procedure a field paleontologist may use.
- Zoom Dinosaurs - is a comprehensive on-line hypertext book about dinosaurs. It is designed for students of all ages and levels of comprehension. It has an easy-to-use structure that allows readers to start at a basic level on each topic, and then to progress to much more advanced information as desired, simply by clicking on links. Contains some activities, lesson plans, quizzes, puzzles and games.