Students will learn about prehistoric life in Utah.
Main Curriculum Tie:
Science - 4th Grade
Standard 4 Objective 1
Describe Utah fossils and explain how they were formed.
- Dinosaurs of Utah and Dino Destinations, by Pat Bagley and Gayen
Wharton; ISBN 1566846013
Background For Teachers:
The land now called Utah has been in and out of water for billions of
years. The sandy soil deposits in the Uintah Mountains are from one
billion year old flood plain sediments. The rock of Mount Timpanogos
contains layers from five hundred million-year old ocean coral reefs. The
colors of Bryce Canyon come from mineral deposits of ancient lakes.
The red sandstones of Arches and Zion National Parks are fossilized sand
dunes from an ancient desert. Indeed, the past environments have been
varied. The lands of present-day Utah have been host to every type of
animal life known to man. Fossils lay out the story of the ever-changing
varieties of plant and animal life. Indications of swamps with massive
conifers that are now petrified, ancient seas inhabited by trilobites, and
marine corals now fossilized and found high in the Wasatch Mountains
tell us much has changed throughout the eons of time.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
2. Manifest Scientific Attitudes and Interests
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning
Invitation to Learn
Ask several students to bring you one of their shoes before the lesson
begins. Mix the shoes up and set them at the front where the other
students can see them. Tell the rest of the class that they are going to be
detectives and determine who the shoes belong to. Ask students to guess
who the owner is as you hold up the shoes. Explain that they are going to
be Dinosaur Detectives today as they search for clues about what
prehistoric life was like in Utah.
- Display an overhead Utah
- Give each student a blank Utah Counties Map.
- Using the Utah
Fossil Locality Information, tell students about
each county that fossils have been found in, what type of fossils
they were, etc.
- Students use symbols and/or colors to mark these locations
blank Utah Counties Map.
- Model how to design symbols and mark
the maps on the
- Students create a legend for the map to serve as a key to
symbols or colors.
- Write a report on the
way Utah environments have changed over
time. The report could be attached to the map the students made
and pasted in their science journal.
- Students may work with a peer-tutor or
in a group to design the
symbols and legends and fill in the map together.
- Using cardboard and salt
dough, students design a 3D map of
Utah as it may have looked millions of years ago when dinosaurs
- Visit one of the many sites in
Utah where prehistoric fossils have
- Take a trip to one of the museums where fossils are on
- Students share the maps they made with their family members.
are many dinosaur kits, models, books, videos, and games
that can be enjoyed as a family.
- Student maps may be collected and checked for accuracy
placing symbols for fossils in the approximate area in which they
would be located.
- The UTIPS Web site (www.utips.org)
has a multiple-choice and
essay test for Standard IV, Objectives 1 & 2. These tests may be
downloaded and printed or taken online.
Protheroe, N. (2004). Effective Teaching, Principal, pp. 58-60.
Nonlinguistic representations include graphic organizers, pictures and
pictographs, mental pictures, concrete representations, and kinesthetic
activities. “Generating mental pictures of information enhances recall
Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom
Instruction That Works:
Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, Chapter 6.
Explicitly engaging students in the creation of nonlinguistic
representations has been shown to stimulate and increase activity in the
brain. This is accomplished by creating graphic representations, making
physical models, generating mental pictures, drawing pictures and
pictographs, and engaging students in kinesthetic activity.
Created Date :
Dec 20 2005 10:19 AM