Teacher Reference Materials

Death Traps

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade


This scripted slideshow for teachers describes the process by which animals have died and become fossilized in waterholes, influenced by a severe drought. It compares two sites, separated by 13 million years: Agate Fossil Beds and the Badlands. It is designed to teach students the principles relating to the behavior, habitat and survival of living animals; as well as scientific study of past life forms known as fossils; and severe climatic events. 

Park Connections

This lesson directly relates to the waterbed death scene at Agate Fossil Beds. On-site field trips include discussion at the Diorama exhibit depicting the death scene and one of the guided hikes exploring the historic excavation areas and the area where the paleontologists worked and lived.


Download Death Traps powerpoint

Download Teacher Script for Powerpoint

Last updated: October 7, 2015