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Emily Condon Rational I have decided to do a unit on fossils for 7th graders.

I really enjoy the topic personally, so I thought it would be fun to think about how to teach students about fossils through inquiry. Some of the Investigations I will be including are: properties of fossils, sediment size and fossil formation, conditions for fossil formation, fossils through geologic time, comparing fossils over time, adaptations to a changing environment, and being a paleontologist. Some inquiry based activities I will include in my unit would be starting off by asking students what they know about fossils, they will see examples of actual fossils and talk about how they could have been made, I will be showing them a video about fossils from Jurassic Park, they will create their own fossils, and we will visit an active site where there are many fossils and scientists uncovering them, among other things. The content standard for this unit would be Life Science (LS4.A). This content standard deals with the fossils and minerals and how they relate to Earths history. The process skills the students will be using are (1) asking questions, (2) developing and using models, (6) constructing explanations and designing solutions, and (8) obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Some crosscutting concepts that have clear connections to this unit are (2) cause and effect, (6) structure and function, and (7) stability and change. This unit will last about 2 weeks long. Each of the topics I have will have one day of inquiry and one day of review with small hands on activities to follow. I will be connecting it to English, through keeping a science journal during labs. I am also going to connect it to history, since fossils are essentially a snapshot of what happened in history in a certain place.

I will be assessing students both formally and informally. I will have a summative activity at the end of the unit by going to the museum and exploring the different areas in relation to what fossil could be formed in the different environments and how. I will also continuously be taking notes on how the students are doing in class, and I will read their lab notebooks to see how well they have been applying themselves during their inquiry labs. I will also be doing smaller projects, such as the homemade fossil, that can be an assessment of their attention to detail and their understanding of how a fossil is formed.

References Bass, J.E., Constant, T.L., & Carin, A.C. (2009). Methods for teaching science as inquiry (ed. 10). Pearson Education, Inc., Boston, MA. Goldish, M. (1989). What is a fossil?. American Teacher Publications, Austin, TX. Hansen, T., & Slesnick, I. (2006). Adventures in paleontology. National Science Teachers Association, Arlington, VA. Jenkins, S. (2011). Billions of year, amazing changes: The story of evolution. Boyds Mills Press, Inc., Honesdale, PA. Lawson, K. (2003). Darwin and Evolution for kids. Chicago Review Press, Chicago, IL. Relf, P. (2000). Sue: The story of the colossal fossil: The worlds most complete T. Rex. The Field Museum, New York, NY. Smith, M.J., Southard, J.B., & Mably, C. (2003). Investigating Earth systems: An inquiry Earth science program: Fossils. Its About Time, Inc., Armonk, NY. Smith, M.J., Southard, J.B., & Mably, C. (2003). Investigating Earth systems: An inquiry Earth science program: Fossils teachers edition. Its About Time, Inc., Armonk, NY.