The best part about teaching fourth grade is getting to teach about fossils in Social Studies (Alberta’s history).
When I introduce the unit, I have the kids do a fun activity which allows them to get moving and access prior knowledge and lets me assess what they already know (and thus their learning at the end of the unit).
When the kids come into the classroom, I have a big T and F written on the whiteboard, which peaks their interest and gets them excited for the lesson.
We start the unit by talking about how we learn about dinosaurs and fossils, which leads us to palaeontologists! I prompt a discussion by asking kids what they already know about palaeontology and then I simply google palaeontologists and show them some images, which prompts further discussion. It’s really easy and allows us to touch upon what we already know.
For our activity I give them a T/F What Do Palaeontologists Do? worksheet. I read each question out and have them circle in ink or hi-light their answers. At the end, I have all the students stand up and come to the front of their class. We go through each question one-by-one and the kids have to move to the side of the room that represents the answer they circled.
Doing this, I can tell which students picked each answer and ask them why they picked true or false. We can have a discussion as a class of the right answer and all learn more about palaeontology!
It’s a really fun activity and the kids love it! If you would like the worksheet, the link to the product on my Teachers Pay Teachers page is here.