Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.
~Edwin Powell Hubble
This is how we began our day … happy National FOSSIL Day! Let’s get into small groups! I’m going to pass you a fossil and a magnifying glass! Talk about what kind of a fossil you THINK it is, and why, in your groups!
What IS it? Here are some of our FIRST thoughts! Give up? Yup! Well, it’s called COPROLITE! What? It’s COPROLITE! Does that help us? Nope! Okay … what should we DO? Let’s GOOGLE it! Okay! Are you SURE? Yes! Are you REALLY sure? YESSSS!
We sat for QUITE a few minutes, while everyone looked at the Google search on the SmartBoard … then … SUDDENLY … one brave soul said OOOOHHHH!
There were quiet whispers … WHAT?!? It’s … DUNG!!! EWWWWWWW The groans spread across the classroom. They COULDN’T believe that their TEACHER would hand them a piece of … fossilized DINOSAUR poop! The SCIENTIFIC word? Coprolite!
Okay … DON’T worry … it’s not THAT bad! It’s FOSSILIZED … it’s NOT like holding REAL dung! Check it out … does it SMELL? WHAT? You want us to SMELL it? Go on … what do you have to lose?
Oh my goodness … what a WONDERFUL day! We shared our OWN small collections. Mrs. Renton shared her HUGE collection!
We read BOOKS … and Mrs. Renton told us all about the Courtenay Museum, on Vancouver Island! That’s were she FIRST learned how to REALLY dig for fossils! She looks for these things called MUD balls … tucked in the shale beds … only SHE likes to call them KINDER SURPRISES for fossil HUNTERS! This video from the Courtenay Museum will show you what it looks like when you’re digging for them:
We spent a GLORIOUS day using our magnifying glasses to look DEEPLY at all the amazing fossils that had appeared in our classroom:
We EVEN got to spend a little time with Bill NYE … and he told us even MORE about fossils:
Wow! WHAT a day! Here are some of our reflections:
“Hi! I learned that poop could turn into a fossil! I can’t believe today! I was holding a 65 million year old piece of poop! I really enjoyed it! It was fascinating! I wonder if a fossil can re-fossilize. So, like … you put a fossil in the ground then would it get another layer of stone? Fossilized poo is called Coprolite!: ~Rowen
“I like that I saw obsidian. I learned that fossils can break. I wonder if there are fossils in the dirt?” ~Beyazit
“I liked everything because it was fun looking at the fossils and the movie was great! I learned that you can make your own FAKE fossil! IU wonder how many fossils there are in the world?” ~Connie
“I liked when we did sketching because I am good at it. It was fun. I learned that plants can be fossils too. I wonder how long a fossil can be?” ~Evelyn L
“I liked looking at the fossils in the morning and watching Bill Nye. I learned that fossils are dinosaur bones. I wonder if there’s a lot of emeralds inside of fossils?” ~Tareq
“Hi! I like the part where Bill Nye showed how wood turned into stone! The coprolite was 65 million years old! Cool! I learned that fossils can be found.” ~Daniel
“I really liked when I got to look at samples of the fossils because it let’s me have a closer look. I learned that fossils are everywhere. I wonder how many there are in the world?” ~Leah
“I like that a lot of fossils can be found in many different places and they are all different! I learned that fossils that are all a part of the same animal can be far away from each other. I really wonder if there is a rock and a mineral in a dinosaur fossil?” ~Katherine
“I learned that all fossils are sedimentary. I wonder why rocks are formed with pressure?” ~Maya
“What I learned was that you can find HUMUNGUS prehistoric fossils at a river bank! I also learned that you can make fossils! But, then they are fake! I wonder if you can find a fossil on a snowy mountain?” ~Vivian
“I like the part when we shared fossils as a group. And, I also liked when we found a fossil … it’s actually dinosaur poop! We even held it too! I learned that fossils could turn animals to stone. I wonder why can’t fossils work on every animal?” ~Evelyn S
“I learned that fossils can be found anywhere. I love fossils!” ~Nic
“Did you know that a fossil that is so easy to guess is so hard? It’s dino dung! I wonder if fossils can spread. I learned that you can make a fake fossil with paint.” ~Zari
“I like Bill Nye because he is funny. I wonder if bugs can be fossils. I learned that mud balls can be hard.” ~Emily
“I like fossils. They’re good things so that I can remember stuff from a long time ago. I learned that fossils can be in mountains and deep under ground. I wonder how many fossils can there be in one rock?” ~Sky
Something that I learned today is that coprolite is fossilized dinosaur dung! Ewww! I liked looking at so many cool fossils and some of the fossil hunting tools. I liked it because if I go fossil hunting now I know what to look for and what to bring. I wonder if there are fossils in my backyard or if there are some really good fossil hunting sites in Calgary or near my community?” ~Payton
“I learned that it takes like a million years for a fossil to form. I liked exploring the fossils in the room, and learning about them. I learned that poop 85 million years ago can turn into a rock in 85 million years!” ~Colter
“I loved Bill Nye because he is funny!” ~Eric
“I liked the Bill Nye movie because it showed me the size of a dinosaur footprint. I learned that petrified wood needs water to turn into petrified wood. I wonder how scientist know how long ago dinosaurs were alive?” ~Will
Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson