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Introduction Grade K Lessons Grade 1 Lessons Grade 2 Lessons Grade 3 Lessons Bibliography
Table of Contents
Lesson Overview
Teacher Background Information
Lesson Focus
Objective Grid
Lesson 1: Long Ago
Lesson 2: Extinction
Lesson 3: Fossils
-Two Legs or Four Legs
-Fossil Prints
-Fossil Hunting Lesson
-Fossil Matching
Lesson 4: Types of Dinosaurs
Lesson 5: Meat and Plant Eaters
Lesson 6: The Dinosaur's Life Cycle
Lesson 7: Nature and Change
Spanish Language Translations

Dinosaurs - Lesson 3: Fossils
ACTIVITY: Fossil Prints

The students simulate fossil prints using clay to explore the concept of a fossil and to make inferences from given information, i.e., humans believe that dinosaurs existed because we have found their fossil remains.

Various small bones, leaves (ferns, preferred), shells, buttons or coins
A piece of modeling clay the size of an adult fist for each student or student-pair

Fossils appear buried in the earth as either actual bones or teeth, or as impressions or prints, or as spaces or casts left in stone after the object has decayed away.


  1. Press one half of the clay flat and smooth.
  2. Place the bone and leaf or other items onto the clay. Make a few impressions in the clay with a button, coin or twig.
  3. Roll out the other half of the clay and place it over the objects on the first half. Press the two pieces of clay together gently to keep the clay from breaking. Take care that the clay molds the bone or other objects.
  4. After the clay has dried, somewhat, carefully separate the pieces of clay. The prints of the leaves and a cast of the bone can be seen.

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