Fossil Finds

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine E. Matthews, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: It is easy to tell students that a fossil is "any remains of plant or animal life of some previous geologic period."' But do they really know what that means? When I ask middle school students to apply their knowledge of the term fossil by choosing one from a box of assorted rocks, petrified wood, seashells, and other items (both fossils and nonfossils), many students have no rationale to support their choice. Some students will recognize and select a piece of petrified wood, yet when asked to describe it, they reply that they are not sure if it is a fossil or not. Others will choose a seashell, but again, they are unsure whether a seashell can be a fossil. Some students will choose a rock and explain that all rocks are fossils.

Additional Information

Matthews, C. (1996). Fossil Finds. Science Scope, 19(7), 13 - 16.
Language: English
Date: 1996
Science instruction, Middle school, Fossils

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