Lesson 9

What Can Fossils Tell Us About the History of Present-Day Organisms Like Chickens?

Big Idea: Fossil evidence can tell us how ancient and present-day organisms change over time.

Activity: Students explore and interpret 3 real fossils and a picture of a fossilized archeopteryx. They consider what part of the organisms have been fossilized and speculate about what the long-ago environment might have been like when the fossil organisms were alive. Finally, they use their knowledge of the mechanism of natural selection to discuss the fossils’ relationship to present-day organisms.

Materials to Have Ready

  • Pictures of present day animals and plants

  • Each group should have 1 ammonite, 1 trilobite, 1 turritella fossil to look at

  • Each group should have 1 picture of the archaeopteryx fossil

Video Overview (1:59)

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