Plan Your Visit

Paleontology & Geology


Paleontology & Geology

Museum of the Rockies is a world-renowned dinosaur research facility with one of the largest and most important collections of dinosaur fossils in the world.

Explore the science of paleontology and geology with free lessons and activities for all ages including:

  • Dinosaurs under the Big Sky Educator’s Guide
  • Our Home, Our World: Explore Earth and Space Science Curriculum Guide
  • Explore Yellowstone Martin Children’s Discovery Center Geology Educator Guide
  • Maiasaura: Good Mother Reptile Curriculum
  • Hall of Horns and Teeth Jigsaw Puzzle

Dinosaurs under the Big Sky Lessons and Activities

This guide from Museum of the Rockies contains a variety of worksheet-based activities that invite you to discover the world of dinosaurs - how they grew, ate, lived, and died. The science of paleontology explores and studies these processes and students will learn to draw evidence-based conclusions from the layers of the earth, insides of fossil bones, and comparisons with species - such as birds - that exist today.

Each activity is accompanied by resource pages that give further context to the topic at hand and outlines how the activity should be structured.

Activity 1: Making a Fossil

Activity 2: Practices of Paleontology

Activity 3: A Changing Landscape

Activity 4: Once Upon a Time

Activity 5: Dinosaur… or Not?

Activity 6: Sort-A-Saurus

Activity 7: How Big?

Activity 8: What’s For Dinner?

Activity 9. Maiasaura

Activity 10: Triceratops

Activity 11: Relative vs. Absolute Dating

Activity 12: Fossils in Your Backyard

Activity 13: Histology

Activity 14: People of Paleontology


Our Home, Our World: Discovering Earth and Space Science in Kumamoto & Montana Educator's Guide

Funded by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnerships and the Museum of the Rockies, this curriculum promotes educational learning through the sciences of paleontology, geology, and astronomy.

These lessons were designed thoughtfully to be effective in both Japanese and American classrooms and museums. All partners contributed to writing and developing these lessons and activities. The format of each lesson plan blends the very different ways our two cultures structure curriculum. While some portions of this curriculum are adapted for our different cultures (like curriculum standards), our goal is that educators in both our cultures will be able to teach these lessons the same way, further uniting our communities.

Lessons cover star stories, star charts, constellations and classifying stars, volcanoes, natural disasters, sedimentology, practices of paleontology, fossils, and evolution. 

Full Paleontology Unit

  • Paleontology Lesson 1: Practices of Paleontology
  • Paleontology Lesson 2: Different Times, Different Fossils
  • Paleontology Lesson 3: Transforming Land and Life

Full Geology Unit

  • Geology Lesson 1: Volcanic Landscapes
  • Geology Lesson 2: Natural Disasters - Our Changing Landscapes
  • Geology Lesson 3: Sedimentology - Building Our Landscape

Explore Yellowstone Martin Children’s Discovery Center Geology Educator Guide

In partnership with Montana Outdoor Science School, bring the museum’s popular Yellowstone-themed children’s discovery center to your home!

Activities include:

Build the Earth: Students role-play the location and characteristics of Earth’s layers

Caldera Collapse: Blowing up and popping a balloon under a layer of sand creates a realistic caldera

Geologic Fairy Tale: A play acting out the geologic history of the Yellowstone region

My Pet Rock: Students examine their rock, using all the senses except taste, then discover it while blindfolded

Rock Cycle Roll: Students act out the rock cycle by moving through stations that represent the life cycle of a rock

Rock Cycle Tag: A lively game of freeze tag that acts out a simple rock cycle

Rock to Rock: A FANTASY JOURNEY: A story that leads students on a guided visualization of their journey as a rock through the rock cycle

Rocketty Rock Rock Rock: A fast-moving game that teaches the names of the three rock kingdoms and how each rock type is formed

Yellowstone Geologic Timeline: Students draw a mural and layout a timeline rope marking major geologic events in the Yellowstone area


Maiasaura: Good Mother Reptile Curriculum

This curriculum, designed for the 2020 Montana Libraries Summer Reading Program, explore Montana’s state fossil, Maiasaura. Enjoy lessons adaptable for all age groups as well as formal and informal education settings.

 

Hall of Horns & Teeth Jigsaw Puzzle

For all ages | You can change the number of puzzle pieces to adjust the difficulty level. Try it below or via this link.