Making Fossils Fun with Art and Design
Welcome to Hands-On Education, where we strive to make learning fun and engaging for primary school teachers and home educators alike. In this article, we'll be discussing how to incorporate art and design into key stage 2 fossils activities, specifically through the use of plaster of Paris to create cast fossils.
Not only does this activity align with the national curriculum's requirement for students to "produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences," but it also allows for exploration of various art forms and techniques. By taking students on a creative journey through the process of creating their own fossils, they can gain a deeper understanding of the wider world and the history of life on earth.
To begin, gather all necessary materials such as plaster of Paris, water, plastic cups, and small objects to create impressions in the plaster. Encourage students to use their imaginations and choose objects that they believe would make interesting fossils.
Next, mix the plaster of Paris according to the instructions on the package and pour it into the plastic cups, filling them about halfway. Have students press their chosen objects into the plaster, creating an impression. Allow the plaster to dry completely before removing the object and revealing the cast fossil.
For an added element of fun, consider incorporating a chocolate fossil model activity. This involves creating a mould of a small object using clay and then filling it with melted chocolate. Once the chocolate has hardened, the mould is removed to reveal a delicious and educational treat.
By teaching art techniques and understanding in visual arts through the creation of cast fossils, students are able to engage with the subject matter in a hands-on and memorable way. And who knows, they may even discover a newfound passion for palaeontology!