You and your family are going on a vacation to Turks and Caicos Islands this summer after school is let out! You and your brother are very excited to see the crystal clear blue water and white sandy beaches. The day you arrive, every one throws on their bathing suites and hits the beach, which happens to be right outside of your hotel! When you get there, you notice a park ranger who is dressed in a uniform. You wonder, "why is there a park ranger at the beach?" You decide to ask, he tells you that the section of beach you are at is a National Park because out in the water is a coral reef that they are trying to preserve and protect. You and your family begin to find all kinds of shells, sharks teeth and pieces of coral that had broken off of the reef below. You remember learning about fossils in your class this year and decide to do a little investigating. You decide you are going to compare these fossils you have found and get some other kids your age involved in your experiment!
Each person in your group will have a task to be assigned to in order for you to complete this activity. There will be an Archaeologist, a Paleontologist, and a Reporter. Each will have responsibilities in answering the following questions for your role:
- How do you uncover more fossils without doing them any harm?
- What are some different types of tools to use when digging for fossils?
- What do we know and what can we learn from fossils of the past?
- What are fossils?
- What do fossils look like?
- Can you determine the age of fossils? How so?
- How do fossils form?
- Helps other group member with their duties.
- Neatly records the answers for each question to be answered in an organized way.
- Keeps every one on task as the activity is carried out.
Archaeologist: here are some links for you to explore to help you answer your assigned questions...
Paleontologist: here are some links for you to explore to help you answer your assigned questions...
Reporter: Sketch out a surveying grid, which is a plan about how you would mark off the designated area you are exploring in (the beach). Draw some pictures of different fossils you might actually find if you were searching on the beach and even in the water.
Here are some links of examples you might find on this type of dig:
Keep in mind that sea shells and broken coral are considered fossils as well!
Now, you are all going to put your information together as one big project.
- Based off of the information each of you has gathered, you are going to help the Reporter with the surveying grid she has begun to create.
- After you are happy with the sketch of your surveying grid and have a few fossils drawn in, you are going to make a list on the back of different duties that each of you would have if you were actually doing a dig on the beach. What would the Archaeologist do? What would the Paleontologist do? What would the Reporter do?
Lastly, I would like for you, as a group, to write down some different types of fossils you would find on a dig at the beach. You can visit this website to get some good ideas:
Based on this activity and the scenario provided at the beginning of the WebQuest, I would like for you to do some reflecting in your science notebook. Here are some questions to help guide your reflecting:
1) What are the three roles that were assigned in the WebQuest activity?
2) What are fossils?
3) What kinds of fossils do you find at the beach?
4) Have you ever found a fossil before? If so, explain
Here are some more links for you to explore about fossils: