EDCI 301: Lesson Plan 2

Name: Holly Romans Lesson Title: “Mix Up Some Mesozoic” Grade: 4th Subject: Science Fine Art: Visual Art Connection: Community Resource: Dinosaur Park in Laurel or Calvert Cliffs and Artist: George Segal Lesson Summary For Part 1, this lesson will take about 45 minutes. Students will learn about two types of fossils, including casts and molds, and make each fossil within one art project. Students will review artist George Segal and his works of casts and molds. The students will be using clay and plaster to make their fossils and paint them the next day. After the art project, students will be given an exit card to quiz them on what they learned that day. If allowed, the teacher can plan a field trip to Dinosaur Park in Laurel, MD to allow the kids to explore fossils even further. Essential Question (what is the central inquiry explored in this lesson) How can we use art to create our own history through fossils?

Plan for Previous Lesson(s) Teacher will read to the class Fossil Girl by Catherine Brighton. Students will then look into the exploration of paleontology, including fossils across geological time. Students will look into which type of things, including animals, plants, etc., can be made into fossils and the different types of fossils.     Subject Area Standard(s)

Plan for Next Lesson(s) Students will paint their fossils and study how to tell about the environment in which an animal or plant fossil lived (land or water). Students will then explore “Then and Now” fossils by studying pictures of different kinds of fossils and pictures showing what that fossil’s animal might have looked like.

Learning Objectives

Students will become familiar with 2 types of fossils Students will create their own fossils of a modern-day object Students will understand what type of fossil they are making (mold and then a cast) Students will explore artist George Segal and review his work using casts molds.

Standard 2.0 Earth/Space Science  Recognize and explain that fossils provide evidence about the plants and animals that lived long ago and about the nature of the environment that time.

Art Standards(s)

Standard 1.0 Perceiving and Responding: Aesthetic Education  Students will demonstrate the ability to perceive, interpret, and respond to ideas, experiences, and the environment through visual art. Standard 2.0 Historical, Cultural, and Social Context  Students will demonstrate an understanding of visual art as an essential aspect of history and human experience.

Materials/Resources (Instructional, Supplies, Technology) *Attach additional resources such as images, handouts, music etc. Resources  Powerpoint of fossils  Exit cards (4 questions, 1 extra credit) Art Materials  Plaster of Paris  Small plastic toys, shells, and other fun small objects  Paper cups  Water bottles  Modeling or pottery clay  Small paper cups  Popsicle Sticks  Permanent marker  Measuring spoon and cup For Next Day  Paint  Paint brushes  Cups for water  Newspaper

Vocabulary (terminology and definitions)

Fossils: The preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. They give us clues about organisms that lived long ago. They also provide evidence about how Earth’s surface has changed over time. They help scientists understand what past environments may have been like. Types of Fossils  Molds: A mold forms when an organism dies and is buried in sediment such as sand, silt or clay. The sediment changes to rock and the organism’s body decomposes leaving an imprint or mold in the rock. Molds can be seen if the rock is broken open.  Casts: A cast forms when an organism dies and is buried in sediment. Its body rots leaving a “hole” in the shape of its body. Water with minerals fills up the hole. When the water evaporates, a copy of the original structure of organism is formed as rock.  Trace Fossils: Trace fossils include leaf prints, burrows, coprolites (feces or poop), trails, or footprints. Trace fossils of an animal tell something about its movement and behavior.  Whole or part of an organism that has been preserved: In rare instances, an entire organism or its skeleton is preserved because the organism gets trapped in a substance that protects its body from decaying, including tree sap, tar, or ice. George Segal: an American painter and sculptor associated with the Pop Art movement. He was presented with a National Medal of Arts in 1999. Although Segal started his art career as a painter, his best-known works are cast lifesize figures and the tableaux the figures inhabited. In place of traditional casting techniques, Segal pioneered the use of plaster bandages (plaster-impregnated gauze strips designed for making orthopedic casts) as a sculptural medium.

Assessment: Rubric Evaluation Criteria 0 (Does not meet expectations) Student did not make a fossil 1 (Approaches Expectations) Plaster was effectively mixed and poured, fossil mold was not pressed in deeply enough to create a clear imprint, and student’s fossil came out fully cracked Fossil is painted, but is unfinished and does not cover the entire top of the fossil Student answered 1-2 questions correctly. (Student will be rewarded 1 point for every right answer out of 4) 2 (Meets Expectations) Plaster was effectively mixed and poured, fossil mold was pressed in creating a not so deep imprint, and student’s fossil came out with a few cracks Fossil has been painted and paint covers the entire top of the fossil 3 (Exceeds Expectations) Plaster was effectively mixed and poured, fossil mold was pressed in deeply one time to create a clear imprint, and student’s fossil came out without cracks Fossil has been painted with multiple colors and the student has painted beyond the top of the fossil Student answers all questions correctly, including the extra credit. (Student will be rewarded 1 point for every right answer out of 4 and receive a 5/4 for answering the extra credit correctly)

I. Making the Fossil

II. Painting of fossil

Student did not paint or make a fossil

III. Exit Card

Student did not finish exit card.

Student answers 3-4 questions correctly. (Student will be rewarded 1 point for every right answer out of 4)

Instructional Sequence Set Up

Approximate Time 3 minutes

Procedure Teacher will open up Powerpoint and set up fossil making station with all the materials to have kids come to get their small plastic toys (or have them bring their own small toy), empty paper cups, ball of clay, ½ cup plaster in paper cup, and popsicle sticks when directions are finished. Teacher will keep water with them. “Good morning, class! Yesterday we learned about different types of fossils and how each were created. Today we will be making our own fossils that we will paint tomorrow. First, let’s review what we learned yesterday.” Teacher will go through the power point and read definitions of the different types of fossils that we learned the day before. The teacher will then focus on two specific fossils: molds and casts. Students will view a series of pictures of fossils and be asked what they notice about each fossil. After talking about what they see, the teacher will then ask the students to try and guess what type of fossil is being shown to test their new knowledge on mold and cast fossils.


2 minutes


5 minutes


5 minutes

In the Powerpoint, the instructions will be posted step by step with pictures to reference. The teacher will explain each step and give the students their tasks. Students will be asked to come up to the materials table by twos to retrieve one of each material. The first students to be chosen will be the students who are quiet and in their “ready to work” stance (hands folded on table and looking at the teacher).  Step 1: Teacher will show 1st step slide. Students will retrieve one small plastic toy, a paper cup, a ball of clay, a cup of plaster, and a Popsicle stick. Students will sit in their seats in their “ready to work” stance until the entire class has their materials.  Step 2: Once the entire class has their materials, the teacher will show the 2nd step slide. Students will put their names on their empty paper cups. Students will take those cups and place their ball of clay at the bottom. Students should press the ball of clay down so it makes a flat surface at the bottom. The teacher will then explain how this clay represents the Earth (soil, clay, sand, silt, rock).  Step 3: The teacher will put up the 3rd step slide. Students will be instructed to take their plastic toy and push it into the clay face down. Tell the students to not bury the toy, but to make a deep imprint of the toy into the clay. Then, ask the students to carefully take the toy out of the clay so they do not mess up their imprint. The teacher will then explain how this represents a mold fossil.  Step 4: The teacher will put up the 4th step slide and warn the students that this step needs to be done very quickly in order for it to work. The teacher will walk around the classroom and put 2-3 tablespoons of water into each student’s cup of plaster. The students will quickly mix the plaster and water with their popsicle sticks, turning the plaster into a pancake mix-like liquid. Once the plaster is well mixed, the students will pour the liquid plaster into their cup on top of the clay. The teacher will then explain how this represents a cast fossil.  Step 5: The teacher will put up the 5th step slide. This will be the clean up slide. Students will be instructed to carefully place their fossils on a separate desk to dry over night. Students will then clean up their desks and wait to receive an exit card. Students will fill out an exit card with 4 questions and an extra credit question.  Question 1: What types of fossils did we make today?  Question 2: Which fossil did we make first?  Question 3: True or False? Fossils are the remains of plants and animals that lived long ago.  Question 4: The fossils in layer C are

Material Distribution

2 minutes

Creation of Artwork

20 minutes

Clean Up

3 minutes


5 minutes

a.) The youngest

b.) The oldest c.) They are all the same age  Extra Credit: Why did you choose the plastic toy you used to make your fossil? The teacher will collect the exit cards and inform the students what they will be learning tomorrow and that they will be painting their fossils as well.      

Painting the fossils the next day

20 minutes

Step 1: The teacher will review directions on how to remove the fossils from the paper cups and explain the correct way to use paint and paintbrushes. Step 2: Students will place newspaper on their tables and get paint, a cup of water, and paintbrushes. The teacher will make a cut at the top of the paper cups with scissors and then distribute each student’s fossil. Step 3: Students will rip the cup by the premade cup to retrieve their fossils. Students will take the clay off the hardened plaster to reveal their fossils. Step 4: Students will be prompted to roll up their clay and lace it at the top of their desk so the teacher can go around and collect the clay to save it for another project. Step 5: Students will paint their fossils. Step 6: Students will place their finished fossil on a desk at the front of the room so it can dry. Students will then clean up their stations.

Plans to Display/Exhibit Student Work Since these fossils will not be able to be hung, I will have the students place their finish work on their designated tables and have the students take a moment to look around the room to see their classmate’s work. After we have done this, I will take pictures of each fossil and hang them on a bulletin board in the classroom with the title “Mix Up Some Mesozoic.” Underneath the title, a short caption will be placed explaining the lesson.

*In-Class Art Lesson: Create a display/exhibit of the completed artwork, photograph the display, and attach/insert image