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Fossils Activities for Middle School Science

The resources below will provide students a comprehensive understanding of fossils. All of the following lessons are also included in the Kesler Science Membership.

The Fossils 5E Lesson includes materials for every "E" phase, including the Fossils Station Lab for Exploration and an interactive PowerPoint with digital INB templates for Explanation.

The lesson also includes introduction materials for Engagement, student-choice project ideas for Elaboration, and assessments for Evaluation.

After completing the Fossils 5E Lesson, students will be able to identify fossils, understand what fossils tell scientists, and examine which organisms have ties to the past.

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The Fossils Inquiry Lab is a hands-on activity that is differentiated for advanced, on-level, and modified middle school students.

Students will use their inductive reasoning skills to analyze evidence gathered by paleontologists. Students will develop and support their own inferences about dinosaur behavior based upon this evidence from the fossil record.

The Fossils Inquiry Lab includes a brief reading passage, comprehension checks, hands-on activities, reflection questions, and a CER conclusion.

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The Fossils Sub Plan is a complete lesson that takes students through a warm-up, reading passage, independent activity, extension activities, and an assessment.

The worksheets are designed to make your sub day a breeze for you, your students, and the substitute teacher. They are also perfect for distance learning.

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Fossils Classroom Experiences

Create a powerful student experience to help solidify students' understanding about fossils. The following experience is also included in the Kesler Science Membership.


The Project Paleo Exhibit Engineer STEM Challenge uses the engineering design process to create an exhibit for a new Earth Science wing.

Students will be using collaborative skills such as brainstorming with their peers and reflecting on their progress during the project.

At the end of the Project Paleo Exhibit Engineer STEM challenge, students are given an opportunity to share their projects outside of the classroom.

Year-Round Resources

These year-round activities will increase your students' understanding of many middle school science topics. All of these activities are also included in the Kesler Science Membership.

Visual Data & Graphing

You're not alone if your students struggle with understanding graphs, charts, and tables. It's a skill that takes an enormous amount of practice. This resource will help students build a strong foundation in analyzing data and creating their own data visualizations.

Bell Ringers and Warm-Ups

These middle school science bell ringers are an excellent way to engage your students as soon as they walk into your classroom. This comprehensive FULL YEAR resource includes everything you need to start off each science class with an interesting warm-up activity.

Review Board Games

Each game board has been carefully designed to keep students engaged. There are 10 different action spaces on each board and dozens of question cards. All of the actions are related to science concepts and keep the students motivated throughout the game.

Each game is ready to play. Simply print out the board and the cards and let the students enjoy reviewing nine different units.

Essential Questions and Standards

Below are the essential questions and standards associated with the lessons and activities included in the fossils unit. This topic is only one of more than 100 middle school science topics included in the Kesler Science Membership.

Essential Questions
  • What are fossils?
  • What are some different types of fossilization?
  • What is the difference between relative and absolute age?
  • What does the fossil record tell scientists?
  • What organisms today have similarities to organisms of the past?
  • MS ESS1-4 - Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history
  • MS LS4-1 - Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past

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Kesler Science Membership

Imagine never having to search for another middle school science lesson again. The membership gives you access to ALL of the Kesler Science products in one place (Yes, including everything above).

Say goodbye to long hours of lesson prep.