All About Fossils: NGSS Unit Aligned with 3-LS4-1 and 4-ESS1-1!

Grade Levels
3rd - 6th
Resource Type
Formats Included
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  • Google Apps™
  • Activity
70 pages
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  1. Four amazing units in one resource! Highly engaging units cover natural selection and adaptations, fossils, plant and animal life cycles and animal groupings. Students will enjoy the interesting reading passages based on scientific phenomena which are included in each unit. Reading comprehension qu
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Complete fossil unit aligned with NGSS with best-selling FOSSIL STATIONS! Explore the world of fossils with your students in a fun and engaging way with All About Fossils! Students will enjoy learning about fossils with several interactive, engaging lessons. Your students will love the hands-on activities such as; making secret fossils in either clay or Play-doh before the class takes a guess as to what it is, making mold fossils out of bread and Swedish fish and comparing maps of T. rex fossils and ancient environments. The unit also includes two interesting informational text passages with comprehension questions.


Lesson includes:

  • An introduction to fossils with a KWL chart
  • A lesson on body and trace fossils.
  • A lesson on how fossils are formed.
  • Fun video of a fossil hunter with student work page.
  • Making mold fossil activity - Students model the process of fossil formation!
  • Students will use their imagination to create a cartoon strip of fossil formation.
  • Reading passage and comprehension questions - Fossils Made From Amber
  • Fossil age - Students will analyze a colorful chart to determine both the oldest and youngest fossils.
  • Lesson on identifying environments where fossils are found and how they change over time.
  • Reading Passage and comprehension questions - Nice to Meet You, Sue
  • Mapping activity - Students compare a map of an ancient environment that is now the United States with a map plotting Tyrannosaurus rex fossils to identify evidence of ideal fossil formation conditions. Students also predict where in the U.S. more T. rex fossil may be found using the evidence collected.
  • Biological evolution! Students compare skeletons of T rex and chickens before constructing an argument based on their findings as to whether the two species could be related or not.
  • A fun activity creating fossils out of clay using everyday objects. Students will secretly create their fossils and then share with other groups to see if they can guess what the fossil is. Students will use a data chart to record their guesses.
  • Fun time! Create your own fossil word search. Students will love creating their own word search and exchanging with a classmate to complete.
  • Formative assessment. Students will take a multiple-choice quiz at the end of the chapter.
  • Eye-catching fossil unit poster set.

This product is fully aligned with NGSS:

Core Idea -

3-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and diversity. Fossils provide evidence about the types of organisms that lived long ago and also about the nature of their environments. Students identify and analyze pictures and charts showing the change in fossils over time and will make the connection that scientists know that environments change according to the fossils they find.

4-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe. Local, regional, and global patterns of rock formations reveal changes over time due to Earth forces, such as earthquakes. The presence and location of certain fossil types indicate the order in which rock layers were formed.

MS-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships

Scientific Practices – Analyzing and interpreting data as well as obtaining, evaluating, and communicating data.

Cross-cutting concepts - Patterns, cause and effect, and scale, proportion, and quantity.

Total Pages
70 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time. Examples of evidence from patterns could include rock layers with marine shell fossils above rock layers with plant fossils and no shells, indicating a change from land to water over time; and, a canyon with different rock layers in the walls and a river in the bottom, indicating that over time a river cut through the rock. Assessment does not include specific knowledge of the mechanism of rock formation or memorization of specific rock formations and layers. Assessment is limited to relative time.


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