This past week, fourth grade students in Mrs. Pudenz’s class were were working towards answering their essential question: If Earth changes so slowly, how do we know what Earth used to look like? 

Students were given layers of clay with different fossils in each layer. Their goal was to answer the guiding question: What can fossil evidence tell us about the kinds of events that affect the layers of Earth? 

Students dug for fossils and made inferences of what the fossils might mean the landscape was like before. Students found shell and fish fossils in one layer, inferencing this may have once been an ocean. Students also found different types of rocks, inferencing this may have been a mountain range. Students concluded that a main way scientists learn about past landscapes is by using fossil evidence. 

Students now have a much better understanding of past landscapes due to this hands-on learning experience!