Fossils Informational Text and Hands-on Unit

Rated 4.83 out of 5, based on 229 reviews
229 Ratings
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
40 pages
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What educators are saying

I used this resource for in-person along with my at-home students. Very informative and grade level appropriate.
I used this resource to get ready for our field trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park and was pleasantly surprised how much was recalled from this unit on our trip.
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Fossils Unit: Students will be completely engaged with the rich science information and fossil activities! Includes fossil worksheets and fossil interactive notebook flaps. This fossil integrated unit allows students to participate in critical thinking, read nonfiction passages, and engage in hands-on activities about fossils.

This resource includes:

  • directions for making a fossil replica
  • five pages of informational text passages
  • comprehension questions
  • response pages
  • answer keys
  • a review game

This resource addresses the disciplinary core ideas of Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity and Earth's Place in the Universe. See more about teaching Fossils as Evidence of Earth's History.

The labs use inexpensive materials such as a plastic bowl, modeling clay, seashell, and plaster of Paris (very inexpensive and can be purchased in any craft or home improvement store).

Save 20%by purchasing as part of the 4th grade NGSS HUGE Bundle!

Save 20% by purchasing as part of the 4th grade Utah SEEd Huge Bundle!

Standards Addressed:

NGSS 3-LS4-1. Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago. 

NGSS 4-ESS1-1. Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time. 

Also aligned with

Utah SEEdStandard 4.1.3 Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the stability and change in organisms and environments from long ago. Emphasize using the structures of fossils to make inferences about ancient organisms. Examples of fossils and environments could include comparing a trilobite with a horseshoe crab in an ocean environment or using a fossil footprint to determine the size of a dinosaur. (LS4.A)

Standard 4.1.4 Engage in argument from evidence based on patterns in rock layers and fossils found in those layers to support an explanation that environments have changed over time. Emphasize the relationship between fossils and past environments. Examples could include tropical plant fossils found in Arctic areas and rock layers with marine shell fossils found above rock layers with land plant fossils. (ESS1.C)

This resource is also aligned with CCSS for reading informational text and includes five pages of nonfiction passages on fossils and fossil evidence. Students will learn how fossils are formed and about the different types of fossils.

This resource includes the nonfiction passages, response pages with text-dependent questions, lesson plans, hands-on activity to make a fossil, interactive notebook flaps, answer keys, and a review game. A review game can be used as a science center or for fast finishers. The review game is self-checking.

Great reading passage with comprehension questions on fossils!

This is a printable unit. If you are looking for an online unit on the same topic see Fossil Distance Learning Unit

The following science concepts are addressed:

fossils as evidence of life long ago

types of fossils

true form fossils

trace fossils

mold fossils

cast fossils

how fossils are formed

sedimentary rock layers

changes in the landscape over time


what we can learn from the fossil record


fossil evidence

Science and Engineering Practices Used by Student Include:

Analyzing and interpreting data

Constructing explanations

Engaging in argument from evidence

Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Reading Skills Include:

Main Idea


Reading Back In the Test

Supporting Claims With Evidence


Author's Purpose

Please leave feedback on this resource. Leaving feedback will earn you valuable TPT credit that you can use for purchasing future resources from TPT.

This resource is also sold in the following Bundles at 20% Savings

4th Grade Bundle at 20% Savings

Earth Science Bundle at 20% Savings

This resource is also available in 3rd Grade Complete Life Science Unit

Save 20% by purchasing in the Utah SEEd 4th grade bundle.

Save 20% by purchasing in the NGSS fourth-grade bundle.

By Lynda R. Williams

Teaching Science With Lynda

Please see my other great resources:

Third Grade Close Read and Lab: Why do some animals live in groups? 3-LS2-1

Desert Habitat Close Read With Interactive Notebook Flaps

CLOSE Reading Why Do leaves Change Color In the Fall

Speed, Energy and Colliding Objects

Total Pages
40 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 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.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


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