Digging For Fossils In The Classroom

A thoughtful colleague at school brought me a present yesterday. Knowing the way that I teach, she thought it may be useful in my lessons and she was right!

The ‘present’ was a small block of solid clay and gypsum that encases a collection of plastic bones that can be carefully extracted using the enclosed  tools – a soft knife and a brush. These can then be assembled into a small model of a prehistoric creature.

The whole kit sells for £1.70, and I am looking forward to using them with year eight students when we tackle a unit of work on the Jurassic Coast. Apart from work on coastal landforms, this unit also addresses aspects of geology, deep time and fossils. I intend to use the kits when we look at fossils found in the Lyme Regis area, an area we also visit for a fieldtrip where we search for fossils of our own.

The kits are made in China and sold in toy shops in the UK. They also make a similar kit that contains gemstones. The range is advertised on the manufacturers web site:


I’m not sure yet if I can sustain purchasing class sets of these every year – but I will try it this time, and see if the financial outlay is worth it. Perhaps I will just have to settle for using them as prizes to reward outstanding work and effort – I may even have a go at making some myself!


About devongeography

Head of Geography and Assistant Vice Principal at South Molton Community College, North Devon. Exeter Chiefs supporter!
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