Hip Wimpee (Hyracotherium)

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.


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Last updated: February 24, 2015

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