Fossils and a changing Earth - Stage 6 - Teacher Notes

Fossils and a changing Earth is a self-guided program for Stage 6 Earth and Environmental Science students. The activities are designed for a visit to the Dinosaurs, Surviving Australia and Planet of Minerals exhibitions.

Before your visit

Syllabus links

8.3 The Local Environment
  • 1  Rocks are formed from different materials
9.3 Environments Through Time
  • 1  Evidence from early Earth indicates the first life forms survived in changing habitats during the Archean and Proterozoic eons
  • 3  The Cambrian event
  • 5  Past extinction and mass extinction events

Pre-visit activities

To make the most of your visit to the exhibition we recommend that you prepare your students beforehand by:

  • introducing or revising relevant terminology and concepts used in the student activity sheets
  • 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:

The following materials should be photocopied for each supervising adult:

At the Museum

On-site activities

The Fossils and a changing Earth Student Activity Sheets are based on displays in the Australian Museum’s Surviving Australia and Dinosaurs exhibition located on Level 2 and the Planet of Minerals exhibition on Level 1.

The activities allow students to examine Australian fauna from the past and the contribution palaeontology makes to our understandings of past and future environments. There are seven activities. Each is completed in the following exhibition spaces.

Completed in the Dinosaurs exhibition:

  • 1. Being a Palaeontologist!
  • 2. Australian dinosaur sites!
  • 3. Examining two Australian dinosaurs!
  • 4. A changing world!

Completed in the Surviving Australia exhibition

  • 5. Examining Megafauna!
  • 6. Stromatolites and sea level change

Completed in the Planet of Minerals exhibition:

  • 7. Mineral Magic! (if you have time)
Organisational tips
  • Use the Museum Guide Map to guide the students to the Surviving Australia and Dinosaurs exhibitions on Level 2 of the Museum.
  • There are seven activities in the Fossils and a changing Earth activity sheets. Students can complete all seven activities or teachers may advise students on the most relevant activities to focus on to allow additional time for general exploration of the exhibition.
  • Teachers should ensure that their students work in small groups. Each group should start with a different activity and then rotate through the various activities to allow maximum access to the displays.
  • The whole class should move to the Planet of Minerals exhibition on Level 1 to complete Activity 7 if there is time.
  • Additional time should be allowed for students to explore the rest of the exhibition.

Ms Helen Wheeler , Learning Services Operations Manager
Last Updated:

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