Nov. 15, 2022 -- What do chocolate chip cookies and dinosaur bones have in common? Just ask the second graders at Gearity Professional Development School.
Angela Hoang and Libby Retherford’s 2nd grade classes dug deep into paleontology and fossils over the past few weeks. With special kits and a virtual field trip from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the students were able to explore fossils and see examples of mastodon bones and even the petrified brain of a T-rex.
“The students were really engaged,” said Ms. Hoang, as they helped identify whether fossils came from plants or animals and matched fossils to the body parts they represented.
The classes’ initial foray into paleontology and archeology included carefully extricating chocolate chips from chocolate chip cookies using two toothpicks and a popsicle stick. Students were not allowed to touch the fossil with their hands and had to do as little damage as possible to the chip as they broke it away from the rock. They were rewarded for their hard work with, unsurprisingly, cookies.
They’ve also been reading a book in which two characters have tried to break the fossil record, combining science with English language arts instruction.
This course of study will culminate in the students’ Capstone projects, a hallmark of STEM schools, which will be shared with the community later in November. Each student has chosen a dinosaur to research and will create a Google slideshow on their dinosaur’s habitat, eating habits, physical description, and any other interesting facts. The various dinosaur reports will be gathered and published in class books.