Fossils {InstaScience}

Learn about fossils in an instant with these cool facts and science activities!

We found this fossil of a shell a few years back as we were skipping stones in a local river. Luckily, our daughter turned her stone over and found the impression fossil. Now, the stone is a part of our ever-growing rock collection.

Fossils are bits of plants or animals that have been preserved from the past. There are several different kinds of fossils based on how they are formed. The three most common types of fossils are impression, trace, and replacement.

Impression fossils contain prints, or impressions, of plants or animals from long ago. Trace fossils capture the activities of ancient animals. Replacement fossils are replicas of things that were once alive, such as trees or sea creatures.

Fun Fact – Amber is also often looked at as a fourth type of fossil. Although a chunk of amber can contain insects that were trapped in resin long ago, technically it is still categorized as a gemstone.

Links to Research

Want to learn more about fossils? Check out the following articles:

  • 3 Types of Fossils – Learn more about how fossils are formed along with an activity for exploring fossils.
  • How Fossils are Formed {Video} – This cute cartoon from HooplaKidz explores how fossils are made and shares how you can make your own fossil.

Related Homeschool Science Activities

Keep the learning going with these science activities!

  1. Replacement fossils– Have the students make their own replica of a replacement fossil, just like petrified wood, using the linked activity from the National Park Services.
  2. Impression fossils – Have the students make their own impression fossil using a shell or plant from your home with the directions found in the linked article from the Crafty Classroom.