I am very lucky to have an awesome classroom aide/ science teacher. He comes in for an hour in the morning and teaches science for an hour twice a week. I really love having someone teach science separately because good science instruction takes a lot of prep and I've got my hands full as it is!
Anyway, for those of you who do teach your own science class, my aide thought of a great way to teach fossils! Also, if you teach Open Court, this is a great connection to a 2nd grade Open Court unit. (I don't use Open Court, but I have on good authority this works well). My students were learning about dinosaurs and how we have learned so much about them using bones and fossils. My aide was able to get some fossils online to show the kids and then told them they were going on a dig. You can imagine how excited they were.
The kids were shown pictures of the tools used in a fossil dig, particularly the brushes and picks. the students then got their own "tools." In order to simulate digging for fossils, the students used toothpicks (picks), paint brushes (brushes), and chocolate chip cookies. The cookie portion was the "rock" to dig in and the chips were the fossils. Once students dug all of the chips/fossils out of the cookie using the toothpick, they brushed the chips off with the paintbrushes. The darker the color, meaning the less cookie/rock on it, the better.
The kids LOVED it! And they also did a good job not eating their fossils. They were allowed to eat another cookie on their way home for their restraint.
Anyone else have a fun science lesson to share?