• Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

    Bryce Canyon

    National Park Utah

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  • Back Country Campsite Closed

    Due to bear activity at Bryce Canyon's back-country, the following campsite has been closed until further notice: Sheep Creek


Students will learn how fossils form,
their different types and what they
can tell us about the past.



  • Present the geologic time line in an understandable way for kids.
  • Teach students about paleontological digs and their difficulties.
  • Teach students how permineralized fossils form.
  • Teach students two common fossil types, a mold and a cast.
  • Use fossils to determine the age of different rock layers.


1. Threads of Life: Explains fossil associations, as well as when they appeared and disappeared through Earth's history.

2. Putting it all Together: Takes students through a paleontology dig and the difficulties of deciphering the information presented by the fossils.

3. Let's make a Fossil #1: Presents an idea most people associate with fossil production, permineralization. This process forms petrified wood and preserves animals' hard parts.

4. Let's make a Fossil #2: Presents two common types of fossils, molds and casts. Students make a mold and cast. From these new fossils they describe information about the object that created the fossil.

5. Reading the Chapters of Time: Uses information learned about fossils throughout the unit to decipher the age of rocks and determine rock layers.

6. Fossil Form and Function: This activity helps students understand how paleontologists determine the way a dinosaur lived, what it ate, etc. by creating an animal from fossilized parts.

7. Tracking Paleo-Animals: Presents students with a chance to develop their skills as paleontologists analyzing fossilized tracks.


GEODETECTIVE Home - Paleontology Discovery Chest - Paleontology Kid's Page

Contact our Education Outreach Specialist here.

Did You Know?

Hoodoos stand as sentinels with their magic

The geologic term, hoodoo, lives on at Bryce Canyon National Park as perpetuated by early geologists who thought the rock formations could cast a spell on you with their magical spires and towering arches. More...