"The present is the key to the past!" If we find fossils, what does this tell us about geologic time? What type of environment did these fossils live with and what can it tell us about mass extinctions, absolute vs relative time, etc.
This is a fossil environment project I put together for students to research extinct species and look at what type of environment they lived in. Instead of writing a paper about this, students will work cooperatively to create either a poster or three dimensional model to show the ecosystem their species was a part of.
Students need to do some Internet research for this project and they need to figure out whether their species was impacted by the Permian and Jurassic mass extinctions.
Note: This is one of those "open ended" projects where students have to come up with poster & model designs. I find that not giving students a lot of guidelines gives them the opportunity to come up with very unique ideas!