Making Fossils – Reassembling the Skeleton

Today (in last period on our last day of term no less), my Year 9 class were doing the final part of our fossils activity – reassembling the skeleton! On Wednesday they cracked open the fossils and cleaned up the bones. For the last 2 days they have been drying out in the sun and we examined and sorted them this afternoon. Firstly we sourced a reference skeleton of a chicken to help us get things into perspective, as well as comparing similarities and differences to our own skeleton:

20130920-204924.jpgMost of the students (aside from a few who were a bit squeamish about the whole exercise) then worked to sort the bones into types and shapes, identifying the vertebrae, flat bones, sternum and humerus (in my preparation there were at least half a dozen chickens, hence the number of sterna in particular):

20130920-205235.jpgTo extend our activity a bit further, we then had a go at reassembling Ned Kelly’s skeleton from a worksheet I created. I wanted them to experience what it’s like to try and piece something together with whatever evidence is in front of you. Here’s the actual image:

20130920-205434.jpgSo all in all, making fossils proved to be a really rewarding exercise and the students had a great time doing it. Definitely a keeper!

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