Activity 6: Do at the Museum!

Search for Fossil Clues

Become a rock detective and search for fossil clues!


Parent instructions:

  • On your visit to the museum explore the shale pit.
  • Turn over pieces of rock and find as many different kinds of fossils as you can.
  • Bring your magnifying glass and look closely at the loose pieces of shale. You might find some tiny fossils you wouldnĄt have seen otherwise. You will also be able to see the details of some of the fossils a lot better.
  • Draw a couple pictures of the fossils you found and then return the rocks to the pit for the next detectives to find!
  • Tip: You can see some typical kinds of fossils from Central New York on the "fossil board" at PRI.

What fossils do you find a lot of?

What fossils are there very few of?

Come make your own collections of fossils on PRI summer fossil collecting trips!

Discuss: Do you see fossils like those you saw in activity 5, the "Fossil Jumble"?

Main Message: The main point is to engage students in discovering and in considering the relative abundance and preservation of natural assemblages of fossils.

Connections: This kind of exercise is part of reconstructing the environment (activity 3); you do it in real life in activity 6.


The Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850 phone: 607-273-6623 fax: 607-273-6620
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