Dinosaur Dig
Grade Level (K-1)


  1. The students will understand the job of a paleontologist.
  2. The students will uncover fossils on their own dinosaur dig using correct procedures.
  3. The students will gain a better understanding of what fossils are, where they are found, and how they are uncovered.



  1. Teacher will hide fossils in the sand table, and divide it into two sections.
  2. Teacher will explain procedure for uncovering the fossils to the students.
    1. Students will shovel sand into a cup.
    2. When cup is full, they will pore the sand into a sifter.
    3. Once the children find a fossil, they need to remember which site they found it in (A or B) and record this information onto their worksheet.
    4. Students also need to remember where the fossil was located in their section so they can also record that with an X.
    5. Students will place their fossil carefully into a bag and bring it to their table.
    6. Once the child is at the table he/she is to look in fossil books to see if the fossil is similar to anything in the book. (Pages will be open to fossils they should look at)
    7. Students will draw their fossil on their worksheet.
    8. Students will return the fossil to the "museum" when they are done working with it.
  3. There are only 4-5 children per group. Once one child finds his/her fossil it is the next child's turn. Two children will be able to go at once since the table is split in half.
  4. The students will participate in a discussion about the dinosaur dig, and their role within it.


  1. Did the students role play being a paleontologist correctly?
  2. Did the students complete the dinosaur dig worksheet in the correct manner?
  3. Did they recover a fossil, record where it came from, and draw it correctly?
  4. Did the students participate in a discussion about the work that they have completed? For example, did they what a fossil is, how fossils are found, and have some idea of how they are uncovered?

Reflection & Extension:

I have not completed this lesson with the students yet, but I know that it is going to call for close supervision. Marcy says that she has done this before and it went well so I am going to give it my best try. I anticipate problems with the children finding their fossils in the books. I also foresee problems with turn taking at the excavation site.

I feel that this lesson is being extended pretty far with the discussion after all the children have had a turn. Perhaps I will turn the worksheets into a book like Dinosaur Dig by Kathryn Lasky.