Utah 8th Grade Science Core 3420

STANDARD 3Earth Systems

Students will understand the processes of rock and fossil formation.

Objective 1

Compare rocks and minerals and describe how they are related.

  1. Recognize that most rocks are composed of minerals.
  2. Observe and describe the minerals found in rocks. (e.g., shape, color, luster, texture, hardness).
  3. Categorize rock samples as sedimentary, metamorphic, or igneous.

Activity: View the rocks in the Quarry Room and observe the rock forming process. Fill in booklet questions.

Objective 2

Describe the nature of the changes that rocks undergo over long periods of time.

  1. Diagram and explain the rock cycle.
  2. Describe the role of energy in the processes that change rock materials over time.
  3. Use a model to demonstrate how erosion changes the surface of Earth.

e.Identify the role of weathering of rocks in soil formation.

  1. Describe and model the processes of fossil formation.

Activity: View the rocks and Plate tectonics displays in the Quarry Room. Fill in booklet questions.

Objective 3

Describe how rock and fossil evidence is used to infer Earth’s history.

  1. Describe how the deposition of rock materials produces layering of sedimentary rocks over time.
  2. Identify the assumptions scientists make to determine relative ages or rock layers.
  3. Explain why some sedimentary rock layers may not always appear with youngest rock on top and older rock below (i.e., folding, faulting)
  4. Research how fossils show evidence of the changing surface of the Earth.
  5. Propose why more recently deposited rock layers are more likely to contain fossils resembling existing species than older rock layers.

Activity: View the rocks and Plate tectonics displays in the Quarry Room. Look at the various prehistoric fossils in the Quarry Room, Ocean Life, North, and South Rooms. Do the activity to find the bury bones. Fill in booklet questions on Fossils and Rock Layers.

Objective 4

Compare rapid and gradual changes to Earth’s surface.

  1. Describe how energy from the Earth’s inferior causes changes to the Earth’s surface (i.e., earthquakes, volcanoes).

e.Model how small changes over time add up to major changes to Earth’s surface.

Activity: After viewing the exhibits, the students will describe what they think about the changes that happened that effected the changes over time to the earth surface and species.


Volcano, Earthquake, weathering, minerals, fossils, sedimentary, magma, metamorphic, rock cycle, igneous, sedimentation, deposition, geology, paleontology.

Lesson Plan - Virtual Field Trip - ThanksgivingPointDinosaurMuseum

Whole group work–Teacher Led Activity

Time – 45 minute / 3-4 days

Objectives - 8th Grade – Integrated Science Earth Science Standards Core

Part 1 - Pre Field Trip Presentation

The slides will be presented to the students before they attend the fieldtrip to point out the highlights and areas that they will visit. A short narration is included to give Museum Background. These slides can be re-arranged or modified to tailor information to prepare the students for the fieldtrip. (See the Power Point Tips and the Slide Narration)

Present the slide show of the various points of the museum that you plan on touring.

Slides include a walk through of the ThanksgivingPointDinosaurMuseum. The beginning starts in the Foyer and Quarry Room with a short questions and answers about the Rock Cycle and Plate Tectonics Theory.

Optional – Student Booklet to complete on the fieldtrip.


LCD Project with Cables

Cart and Extension Cord

Laptop Computer or Teacher Computer with Cable connections

Power Point Presentation or similar software (i.e. Corel Presentations)

Slide Show Topics:

Foyer & QuarryRoom- Dinosaur displays, rock cycle, fossil formations,

Paleontologistroom and model of a Quarry.

South Room - Earth Creation Tunnel and Pre-Cambrian Time Period (Ocean


Middle Rooms Activity Areas– Large Herbivores, Larger Carnivores,

Erosion Table, Fossils, and Flying Species.

North Room & Activity Areas - Large Ocean species, Green River Project, and

Age of the Mammals (Man). Ending with the final exhibit of the extinct


Student Booklet Activity – 8 page booklet to complete while attending he field


Select Slides to emphasize the points to see and activities to complete.

Part 2 - Attend Field Trip or Replacement Virtual Field Trip Activity

Choose the option of either attending an out of school field trip or presenting a Virtual Field Trip slide show on the Thanksgiving Point – DinosaurMuseum.

If attending the field trip, set up:

Field Trip Activity

  • ScheduleMuseum
  • Set dates on School Calendar
  • Arrange Buses
  • Arrange Chaperones
  • Set students Groups
  • Make copies of the Student Booklet & Maps
  • Make copies of schedule and chaperones instructions
  • Permission Slips
  • Collect Money
  • Make payment arrangements
  • Make group and bus signs
  • Make alternative activity for the students not attending
  • Set Substitute to cover students not attending
  • Make a list of students attending and not attending
  • Send emails to staff and let them be aware of the activity and students attending

Virtual Field Trip Alternative Activity

Use the slides to take a walking virtual tour through the museumreplacing the actual fieldtrip activity. See the narration comments for each slide. Set au slide projector and laptop computer to display power point slide show. These can be modified to fit the curriculum standards. (See the Power Point Slides to modify by deleting, re-arranging, or adding slides. Also See the Slide Narration)


Provide a handout – Dinosaur Museum Virtual Field Trip Tour Questionnaire to answer during the slide show.


LCD Project with Cables

Cart and Extension Cord

Laptop Computer or Teacher Computer with Cable connections

Power Point Presentation or similar software (i.e. Corel Presentations)

Slide Narration (Teacher use)

Handout – DinosaurMuseum Virtual Field Trip Tour Questionnaire

Part 3 - Post Field Trip Activity

Select the parts of the slide show to emphasize the review of the field trip. Have the students explain the various room, displays, and activities. Or use as a review and narrate the script and slides that need to be emphasized.


LCD Project with Cables

Cart and Extension Cord

Laptop Computer or Teacher Computer with Cable connections

Power Point Presentation or similar software (i.e. Corel Presentations)

Slide Narration (Teacher use)

Optional - Review the student booklet questions with the students.

Optional – Student Evaluation Form (short questionnaire regarding their experience attending the field trip)

Part 4 – Enrichment Activity (Optional)

Have the students then produce a Power Point Presentation on an assigned research topic involving their experience relating to the DinosaurMuseum - Earth Systems Core. The student will research and draw a story board outline of the assigned topic. Then schedule 5 days in the Writing Lab to allow students to complete an 8 slide informational slide show. (i.e. – How Plate Tectonics Effected Species or the Surface on Earth? or Explain the Effects of Earthquakes and the Rock Cycle.)

Provide a List of Research Ideas. Spend a few days researching either in the media center or on the internet. Outline the information and sketch out 8 slides. Work in writing lab for 5 days to create a slide show. Demonstrate various steps like inserting pictures, adding / changing text, animations, transitions, and samples. Once the slide shows are completed, save by class periods and student last name on a CD. Load files onto the main computer to be presented to the class. Arrange for the projector and computer. Have the students narrate their slide shows as they are shown to the class.

Have student write a 1 page reflection page on their personal experience. Print a paper copy of the slide show in “audience notes” style – 4 slides to a page.


LCD Project with Cables

Cart and Extension Cord

Laptop Computer or Teacher Computer with Cable connections

Student Story Board Packet

Thanksgiving Point – DinosaurMuseum

Student Permission Slip Due Date ______

Student Name ______Period _____

I give my permission for my child to attend the field trip to the Thanksgiving Point – DinosaurMuseum on ______. I understand that they will be responsible to complete missing assignments and work for the other classes they miss. I understand there will be a fee on $ ______to attend. I also understand that my child will be responsible to bring a sack lunch and work on a booklet while at the museum.

Parent signature ______Date ______

Daytime Phone Number ______

Emergency Contact Name & Phone Numbers:



Medical Limits or Concerns: ______



Thanksgiving Point – DinosaurMuseum Evaluation

EvaluationDue Date ______

Student Name ______Period _____

  1. How would you rate the field trip?
  2. Do you think the “Preview” Slide Show aided

in your understanding of the Field Trip?

  1. Was it easy to complete the booklet?
  2. Do you think the “Post” Slide Show was effective?
  3. Would you like to go on other field trip?
  4. Rate the IMAX – Movie “Saving the Planet”
  1. What do you think we should have spent more time on? ______


  1. What could be improved? ______


  1. What do you think we should have spent less time on? ______

______10. How was your group? ______