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Let's teach! Primary

Lesson 5

What does a palaeontologist do?

Lesson Plan

Preparation

  • Source reference books, the internet or pictures on posters containing fossils and palaeontologists at work (optional) for students to view.

Curriculum links

  • Australian Curriculum: ACSSU044, ACSIS053, ACSIS057, ACSIS060
  • NSW Curriculum: ST2-4LW-S, ST2-1WS-S
  • VIC Curriculum: VCSSU056, VCSSU057, VCSIS065, VCSIS069, VCSIS072
  • WA Curriculum: ACSSU044, ACSIS053, ACSIS057, ACSIS060

Suggested teaching strategies

Introduction

  • Display the digital lesson on your smartboard to introduce the palaeontologist profession.
  • The student summary and worksheet should be used together.

Development

  • Provide students with printable versions of the student summary and worksheet. Have students complete the worksheet.

Differentiation

  • Investigation sheet could partially be completed as a class.

Conclusion

  • Discuss the investigation sheet as a class and the answers everybody came up with.

Assessment

Worksheet answers

1. Possible answers: discovers fossils; studies fossils; digs out, cleans, repairs and puts fossils back together.
2. Answers could indicate ‘yes’ because the word is from a Latin one meaning ‘dug up’, which is what happens to fossils.
3. (a) bones, teeth, claws (b) animal droppings/nests/eggs/footprints
4. A plant doesn’t have hard parts like bones.
5. It must be gently covered by fine sand or mud before it decays and disappears.
6. Possible answers: (a) how old a fossil is (b) what kind of plant it was, like a fern or a palm (c) if an animal walked on two or four legs/size of animal (d) what the animal ate Investigation sheet answers Answers should indicate: 1. First fossil is a plant (as it is a frond). Second is an animal as it looks like a bone. 2. Body of an insect with a head and thin legs, and wings. Looks like a moth or butterfly. 3. Walked on two legs, had a tail, large head, large jaw, sharp teeth, claws on hands, probably a fierce creature that ate other animals. (Some students may work out it is a T-rex dinosaur skeleton.) 4. Lived in a marine environment as they are fossils of a fish, shells and a starfish. 5. The tracks show a smaller animal’s footprints being followed by a larger animal’s footprints. The larger animal caught the smaller one. They had a struggle and the smaller one was killed and eaten. The larger one walked away, leaving a few bones.

Investigation sheet answers

Answers should indicate:
1. First fossil is a plant (as it is a frond). Second is an animal as it looks like a bone.
2. Body of an insect with a head and thin legs, and wings. Looks like a moth or butterfly.
3. Walked on two legs, had a tail, large head, large jaw, sharp teeth, claws on hands, probably a fierce creature that ate other animals. (Some students may work out it is a T-rex dinosaur skeleton.)
4. Lived in a marine environment as they are fossils of a fish, shells and a starfish.
5. The tracks show a smaller animal’s footprints being followed by a larger animal’s footprints. The larger animal caught the smaller one. They had a struggle and the smaller one was killed and eaten. The larger one walked away, leaving a few bones.

Student Pages

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Intro 1
Lesson 1
Is it living, non-living or once living?
Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Intro 2
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Lesson 1
Is it living, non-living or once living?
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Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 1

How can you tell if something is living or non-living?

PlayPlay
Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 2

Look around your classroom and decide what might be living or non-living.

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 3

Desk and chair

You would be likely to say your teacher and you are living and your desk and chair are non-living.

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 4

But how do you know this?

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 5

You would probably say you are living because you can move, grow and breathe.

Your desk can’t do
these things so it
is non-living.

Usually it's easy to tell
if something is living
or non-living.

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 6

But sometimes non-living things can do some of the things that living can do.

For example, clouds can move across the sky.

A fire can grow and get larger.

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 7

However, for something to be called living, it must have all the features of living things.

Living things, like humans, other animals and plants,
can do the following...

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 8

Breathe (take in oxygen)

Take in food or nutrients

Respond to things around them, like light or heat

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 9

Move (by themselves, either whole body or part of their body)

Reproduce (have ‘offspring’ like babies, or grow from seeds or spores)

Give off wastes

Grow and change

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 10

Fire moves, grows and seems to ‘eat’ things when it burns them.

But fire does not reproduce.

It is non-living.

Fire

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 11

Clouds move and change colour and shape.

They drop rain and can get bigger.

Clouds are non-living.

But they do not breathe, eat or have offspring.

Clouds

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 12

Water moves and changes state.

While water might carry away wastes, it does not make waste or reproduce.

Water is non-living.

Water

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 13

What about things like a bouquet of flowers and fruit you buy in a supermarket?

The cut flowers are
once living, once part
of living plants.

Fruit is also once living.

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 14

Fossils are the remains of once living animals.

Dead animals or plants are also once living things.

Fossil

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 15

Paper and wood were once part of living trees.

There are many products made from living things.

Wood

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 16

Milk and cheese comes from animals such as dairy cows.

Flour is produced from wheat.

Milk and cheese

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Slide 17

Can you think of other products made from living things?

Science Year 3 Unit 1 Lesson 1 Final Slide
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Downloads

Student Summary

Summary of student page information

Worksheet

Activities for students to complete

Investigation Worksheet

An experiment to consolidate learnings

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