Activity 7: Do at the Museum!
Ice Age Mud from an Ancient Pond
Become a detective and search for ancient clues!
Visit the museum and explore the Ice Age mud that was collected around the bones of a real mastodon!
Sort through the mud and find as many different kinds of things as you can.
Put all the twigs in one container and rocks in another container.
Use the plastic baggies for anything unusual that you find.
Use the pictures to identify some of the rocks and pieces of plants that you find.
Tip: Bring your magnifying glass. You might find some tiny fossils you wouldn't have seen otherwise.
Draw pictures of some of the objects that you found.
What do you think your neighborhood was like during the Ice Age?
Extension: Draw a picture of this mastodon's home based on what you discovered in the mud.
Fact: During the last Ice Age glaciers a mile thick covered much of New York State!
Main Message: The main point is to engage students in discovery. This activity also demonstrates that fossil organisms lived in environments and that clues about environment are preserved in the sediment.
Connections: Activity 2, "What Doesn't Belong?", will help students classify rocks in the matrix and determine how they might have gotten there.
Paleontological Research Institution