Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:47 PM

I am a Third grade teacher. I want to know of some resources that can support my fossils unit. In particularly, I want to inquire about resources that provide a visual of the changing Earth. I try to help students understand that the Earth was a much different place in long past. I have found resources on plants and animals but I need resources on the changing Earth. The science standard wants students to understand that paleontologist study fossils to learn about what earth used to look like. Thanks

Raymond Jones
Raymond Jones
740 Activity Points

Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:47 PM

Go to the Learning Resource & Opportunities tab here and search the Science and Children Journal Articles for one called Layer-Cake was so amazing!!!! I tweaked it a bit to use with 4th graders but it was well worth the baking! :)

Cori Coleman
Cori Coleman
2685 Activity Points

Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:48 PM

Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:16 AM

Hello Raymond-

I have identified a progression in the NGSS that may be helpful:

Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago

Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers for changes in a landscape over time to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.

For 4th grade, specifically, we are supposed to look for patterns (evidence) in rock formations and fossils that can be used to explain how landscapes have changed over time. For all of us in Michigan and the states surrounding the Michigan Basin this is fairly straightforward. Evidence of change from a shallow sea to what we see today can easily be found in our state stone - the Petoskey stone (a fossil coral) and the salt that is mined beneath Detroit. Evidence of change from glaciation during the last ice age can be seen in our Great Lakes and the glacial features (drumlins, kettle lakes, etc) found throughout the state. A great video that shows the changes over time in a (to some) humorous way is "The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes".

Other materials already shared (like Paleomap) that show positions of the continents over time shows that landscapes (and environments) change over time due to plate motions

Cris DeWolf
Cris Dewolf
11075 Activity Points

Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:33 AM

The goal of the PALEOMAP Project is to illustrate the plate tectonic development of the ocean basins and continents, as well as the changing distribution of land and sea during the past 1100 million years.
I use this for middle level students to demonstrate plate tectonics but wonder about its usefulness for third graders. They may find this fascinating as it shows how the earth has changed over millions of years. My concern would be a third graders understanding of scale of time. Geological time frame

Anyone else have some elementary resources for this ?

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
41865 Activity Points

Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:00 PM

Hi Arlene,

Thanks for sharing the resource. I plan on checking this out. Do you have anything else that you use with this website?


Susan German
Susan German
31085 Activity Points

Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:08 PM

Thanks for sharing the resources. They're very helpful!

Arielle Gutierrez
Arielle Gutierrez
995 Activity Points

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