Dinosaurs - Lesson 3: Fossils
ACTIVITY: Fossil Prints
The students simulate fossil prints using clay to explore the concept of
a fossil and to make inferences from given information, i.e., humans believe
that dinosaurs existed because we have found their fossil remains.
Various small bones, leaves (ferns, preferred), shells, buttons or
A piece of modeling clay the size of an adult fist for each student or
Fossils appear buried in the earth as either actual bones or teeth, or as
impressions or prints, or as spaces or casts left in stone after the object has
- Press one half of the clay flat and smooth.
- Place the bone and leaf or other items onto the clay. Make a few impressions
in the clay with a button, coin or twig.
- Roll out the other half of the clay and place it over the objects on the first
half. Press the two pieces of clay together gently to keep the clay from
breaking. Take care that the clay molds the bone or other objects.
- After the clay has dried, somewhat, carefully separate the pieces of clay. The
prints of the leaves and a cast of the bone can be seen.