Learning from Fossils - Stage 6 Biology Teacher Notes
Learning from Fossils is a program for Stage 6 Biology students. A Museum educator will introduce the session and assist the groups of 4-5 students as they conduct hands-on investigations. The activities increase the students’ understanding of the applications and uses of biology. Students work with real and cast fossils and skeletal specimens of modern Australian animals.
Before your visit
- Excursion essentials - booking, free teacher's pass, lunch and practical tips.
The Learning from Fossils program is specifically designed for the NSW Board of Studies Stage 6 Biology syllabus topic, 8.5 Evolution of Australian Biota. Detailed syllabus links.
To make the most of your visit to the exhibition we recommend that you prepare your students beforehand by:
- introducing or revising relevant terminology used in the Learning from Fossils student activity sheets such as meagafauna, Gondwana, and Pleistocene.
- providing a context for the excursion to the Museum including the reasons for visiting the Museum, the tasks to be completed and the expected outcomes.
Please photocopy the following materials for each student:
- five activities in the Learning from Fossils student activities document - one set for each student.
The following materials should be photocopied for each supervising adult:
- Australian Museum Guide Map
- your excursion timetable including your booked session time(s).
At the Australian Museum
Students work in small groups of 4-5 students and conduct hands-on investigations. Teachers assist in facilitating the students' learning and keeping them on task.
The activities increase the students' understanding of the applications and uses of biology while they work with real and cast fossils and skeletal specimens of modern Australian animals.
There are five hands-on activities:
- The Diprotodon
- Short-faced kangaroos
- Mammal teeth
- Reconstructing animals from fossils
- Platypus evolution.
All students complete the Platypus evolution activity and one allocated megafauna activity.
- A Museum educator will meet your group, introduce the activities and facilitate as students conduct their investigations.
- Sessions are one hour in length and students will not have time to complete all five Museum activities in a single session. Longer sessions can be booked.
- During the session, all students will complete Activity 5: Platypus evolution. Students are also allocated one other activity (1-4) on Australian megafauna.
- We suggest that a reporting session is held back at school so students can share and discuss all the activities and teachers can use the answers provided to clarify and expand as needed.
Ms Helen Wheeler , Education Project Officer