Field Trips

Simulated Fossil Dig

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Subject:
Science
State Standards:
See attached Teacher's Guide for list of standards.

Background

Grades 1–5, 90-120 minutes

This field trip is a great introduction to fossils, geology, paleontology, and being stewards of public lands. During this program students participate in a simulated paleontological field exercise discovering real and replica fossils. They will map, measure, and identify fossilized remains of Triassic animals and plants. Students will also take field notes and make hypotheses and conclusions about their discoveries.

Group size is limited to 25 students.

Lesson Goals

  • develop an understanding of the science of paleontology by learning the skills and concepts involved
  • be introduced to geological time periods represented at the park
  • explore an aspect of paleontology through participation in a field exploration
  • become aware of the importance of preservation of paleontological resources
  • understand the role of the National Park Service in the preservation and protection of natural and cultural resources.

 Learning Objectives

  • describe paleontology as the study of ancient life on earth through fossils
  • list geological time periods represented at the park
  • explain why choices have consequences
  • use scientific methods adopted by paleontologists
  • recognize that paleontological resources are nonrenewable
  • describe at least one thing they learned about Petrified Forest National Park and/or the National Park Service.

Programs are available between 8:30am and 4pm, Tuesday through Thursday.

To request this program please contact the education program coordinator at least three weeks before your visit. 

Phone: (928) 524-6228 ext.264
Email: sarah_herve@nps.gov

Educational Fee Waivers
School groups, including home schools, may apply for an Educational Fee Waiver several weeks before a visit. Without this application, school groups will be considered a noncommercial group and charged fees accordingly.

Travel Grants 
Each year Petrified Forest NP offers funding to help schools pay for transportation costs to the park for educational field trips. Travel Grants are awarded on a first come first served basis once funding is available. School groups who would not be able to visit the park without financial assistance are encouraged to apply but any school group is eligible to apply and you can send in an application at any time.

Materials

This teacher's guide contains background knowledge for your students, education standards associated with the field trip, and student assessment questions.

Download Simulated Fossil Dig Teacher's Guide

Download Educational Fee Waiver Application

Download Travel Grant Application