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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Xenosmilus

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Overview:
Students play the roles of paleontologists on a dig. They "unearth" a few fossils at a time and attempt to reconstruct the animal the fossils represent.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
3-5

Time:
~ 40 minutes

Teaching tips:
An excellent lesson for demonstrating and discussing the nature of science. Adaptable to multiple grade levels. Best to laminate sets of the “fossil bones” for repetitive use. Adapted from ENSI's Great Fossil Find.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Form is linked to function.

  • Fossils provide evidence of past life. (LS4.A)

  • Scientists study fossils and how and when they were formed. (LS4.A)

  • Scientific ideas may change with new evidence. (NOS3)

Teacher background:

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