The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

Sharing creative ideas and lessons to help children learn

Dinosaur Fossils: Earth Science Activity


Dinosaurs are a great topic to sneak into your earth science fossil unit. They engage your students’ interest easily and often produce the best writing samples of the year. This souvenir activity is a memorable way to wrap up your study and will enrich your students’ learning experience.

Materials: Tupperware (one per student), modelling clay, shells, plastic dinosaurs, plastic plants, Plaster of Paris, water



  1. Press a little modelling clay, about 2 cm, into the bottom of a Tupperware container.
  2. Carefully press shell or other object into the clay.
  3. Remove objects from the clay.
  4. Mix a ratio of 1 part water to two parts Plaster of Paris.
  5. Pour the plaster on top of the clay and let it dry for 24 hours.
  6. Remove the plaster from the Tupperware and leftover clay. (If you have students remove all of the plaster pieces from the clay, you may reuse the clay.)

Writing Extension Activities:

  • Write a short story about a fossil. Include key vocabulary and specific descriptions of the fossilization process. What does the fossil tell you?
  • Research a type of dinosaur.
    • When and where did they live?
    • What did they eat (carnivore, herbivore, omnivore)?
    • What does their name mean?
    • What is the theory of how they died?

Download your free lesson from Read and Understand Science Grades 2–3.

For more dinosaur lessons and ideas, check out Theme Pockets: Dinosaurs Grades 1-3Dinosaur research book and report





Heather Foudy is a certified elementary teacher with over 7 years’ experience as an educator and volunteer in the classroom. She enjoys creating lessons that are meaningful and creative for students. She is currently working for Evan-Moor’s marketing and communications team and enjoys building learning opportunities that are both meaningful and creative for students and teachers alike.

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