Fossil Record Science Games

5 games

In this series of games, your students will learn about the accumulation of rock strata and other geologic features, and how scientists study them along with the fossil record to shed light on the Earth’s natural history. The Fossil Record learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.

Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.

Concepts Covered

Over time, layers of igneous and sedimentary rock that pile up on top of each other to form rock strata. The Principle of Superposition tells us the deepest strata are the oldest, and each layer on top of the next gets younger and younger. That isn’t always true, though; any geological features that cut across layers of rock are younger than those layers, according to the Principle of Cross-cutting Relationships.

Geologists keep all this in mind when they look at the fossil record, which is full of evidence of life forms that lived a long time ago. Looking at where specific fossils, called index fossils, have formed in the rock strata helps them figure out how old the rock is compared to other layers, or its *relative* age. This isn’t the same as figuring out its *actual* age, exactly how many years old it is.

Today’s scientific laws and processes work the same way as they always have throughout the eras, periods, and epochs of the earth. With this in mind, studying rock strata and the fossil record helps scientists learn a tremendous amount about our planet’s history.

A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.

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