Activity 6: Do at the Museum!

Search for Fossil Clues

Become a rock detective and search for fossil clues!

Visit the museum and explore the shale pit.

Turn over pieces of rock and find as many different fossils as you can.

Bring your magnifying glass and look at the loose pieces of shale. You might find some tiny fossils. You will also see the details of the fossils better.

What fossils do you find a lot of?

What fossils are there very few of?

Draw pictures of the fossils you found.

Return the rocks to the pit for the next detectives to find!


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: You can make your own collections (activity 4) and identify them (activity 5) at many localities in Upstate 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!