Distance Learning

Time Travel with Fossils

Archaeotherium jaw
Archaeotherium jaw
Larry McAfee, National Park Service photograph

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Badlands National Park protects rich fossil beds that contain evidence of ancient life. The fossils include marine creatures that lived from 74 to 65 million years ago and ancient mammals that lived from 37 to 25 million years ago. Students will make inferences about ancient animals and environments based on the fossil evidence presented to them.

How to Participate

Teachers at schools within 80 miles of Interior, South Dakota can schedule a ranger to visit their class, while teachers at schools outside of the 80-mile range can schedule a distance learning video conference with a ranger.

Teachers should prepare their students accordingly. Students should have some understanding of Badlands National Park (location, mission, ecosystem) and some general background knowledge related to their program topic. Teachers may use materials provided from the links below, the specific pre-visit lesson plans, or their own lessons to best prepare their students.

Suggested pre-visit lesson

Additional resources

For more informationcontact the park.


Ecology, Environment, Paleontology
National/State Standards:
3-adaptations/form/function/survival; 4-adaptations/survival/food webs
Distance Learning

1 Review


    "Fantastic Fossil Lesson"


    The material that was presented was very age- appropriate and engaging. The Ranger presented many types of fossils and explained their origins. He was very well- prepared. The kids were allowed to ask questions at the appropriate time.




    My third graders in Georgia thoroughly enjoyed this lesson. The presentation was very informative and entertaining for them. The Ranger, Tyler, really seemed to enjoy the students. This was an excellent experience for my third grade students. I highly recommend this program.

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