After studying photos of dinosaur tracks, students will create their own tracks using clay. In addition, students will compose a story about the dinosaur / animal who created the tracks.
Fossils of ancient living organisms are found throughout Utah. They tell the story of Utah’s past. Almost all fossils are found in sedimentary rocks. Since sedimentary rock is deposited in layers, the oldest rocks are at the bottom of a sequence, and the youngest are on the top. Fossils in the lower layers tell us about what life was like long ago. There are three ways in which fossils are formed in sedimentary rock:
Tracks belong to that category of fossils known as trace fossils. Trace fossils are different from body fossils, which represent the actual remains of an animal. Trace fossils are such things as tracks, burrows, and droppings, and represent traces the animal left as it moved around in its environment. Tracks can tell us much about where dinosaurs lived and how they moved. Dinosaur tracks have been found in many places throughout Utah. They have even been found in coal deposits near Price. Typically they are found in shale or other sedimentary rocks.
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning.
Invitation to Learn
What inferences can be made from sets of dinosaur tracks? What kind of animals might have made these tracks?
There is no “right nor wrong” answer in this activity. The importance is placed on whether the student contributes to the story and if the tracks they have made in the mudflat correspond to the described activity their animal was engaged in. The most important goals are the thinking skills used and the ability to communicate effectively with other group members.