Activity 4: Do at Home!

Make Your Own Collection


Take a walk around your neighborhood with your family and search for natural objects.

Make your own collection of things that you find outdoors.

You might find cones, twigs, seeds, rocks, and even fossils.

When you find something make a label and write down your location. Keep the label with your object.

Put your collection in a shoe box with your labels, or create your own museum on a shelf.













Fact: Some people say the label is more important than the specimen. To understand why, just imagine trying to study an antique with no knowledge of where or when it was made; the same holds true for understanding nature.

Discuss: Do you find different kinds of rocks in different places? Do you find different kinds of flowers in different places? If you find different things in different places do you think it would be good to know where objects in your collection come from?

If you find fossils, the 2nd Saturday of each month you can bring them to PRI for identification by a staff paleontologist.

If you find fossils, they may be like those in activities 5 or 6.

Main Message: Science starts with observations of nature, often of objects. Scientific collections are like libraries of objects for answering questions about nature.

Connections: Collections of fossils (activity 1) in sedimentary rock (activity 3) are important for understanding ancient seas over New York.



The Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850 phone: 607-273-6623 fax: 607-273-6620
Questions about the Website? Tell us!