A paleontologist in the American Southwest finds two ground sloth bones in a place they don’t belong. Your students are called to help determine where they came from, how they got there, and where the rest of the bones are located.
As they examine a series of scientific bread crumbs, they learn of an emergency in a nearby flooded cave. The teams must work together to ensure all scientists are safe so they can continue their exploration.
Supplement your science unit with our interactive Dirt Decoders simulation. Students are placed into teams to conduct research, collaborate to find solutions to urgent challenges, and experience real-world careers: biologist, cartographer, geologist, and paleontologist.
Then, integrate our engineering activity and nonfiction science writing exercise where it fits best to continue students’ understanding of the engineering design process and scientific communication.
While Dirt Decoders primarily focuses on Earth science themes, it also integrates life science and engineering topics.
– Michelle Morales, Alexander McClure Elementary School (Pennsylvania)
Understand rock formations and fossils
Understand the ways in which weathering and erosion alter landscapes
Solve problems using the engineering design process
Communicate scientific ideas through non-fiction writing
Enhance scientific vocabulary
Approximate program time: 1 hour
Pre- and post-lesson activities available
Closed captioning available
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aligned
Internet connection required
Device with audio/video capability required
No personal student data collected
Online teacher training available
Classroom Adventures was developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation.