Activity 4: Do at Home!

Make Your Own Collection

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


Make your own collection of natural objects that you find.
You might find cones, twigs, seeds, rocks, and even fossils.

When you find something cool make a label out of paper and write down your location. Keep it with your object.

When you get home 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
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