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Do you need to cover how we can learn from fossil evidence? How about how the Earth changes over time? Infer the location of the coastline of an ancient sea that no long exists. This paleontology simulation lets students make a hypothesis based on an initial set of data and revise it after sharing their findings with other groups who may have discovered other data.
I use this with my fourth graders in Ohio as an entry point for science standards about weathering, erosion, deposition, and the changing surface of the Earth. I also use it as a transition from the life science standard about comparing ancient to modern organisms. I am also able to use it as a performance assessment for conducting short research tasks, using relative directions to describe locations, and on-demand writing prompts for LA standards. This file also includes multiple-step math prompts based on this scenario (multiplication, division, area and perimeter).
Includes Google Slides for collaborative student teams, along with a teacher resource with implementation suggestions.