Thinking about dinosaurs and the formation of crude oil and natural gas

After Kimberly Burgard from Superior Intermediate School attended the STEM workshop for teachers this summer, she used the Listen and Draw Geologic Time lesson with a small group of 8th graders from a science class.

Burgard said, "I originally brought in the classroom discussion about dinosaur DNA, cloning and genetics so that the students had a train of thought to help get them centered. Then I gave them a large piece of paper and had them divide it into three equal spaces. I directed the students to listen to the story and draw what I was describing. They wanted to know if I could show them pictures, and I told them no, that this was a listening activity.

"Once they settled in, they started to draw what they heard being described. The students also had conversations amongst themselves about what their drawings should look like and if they “had it right”. I allowed and encouraged the discussion because they all brought valid points to the class.

"At the end, the students really wanted to see what the creatures looked like and how far off they were with their own drawings. It sparked a really great discussion about what you think you know from hearing about something, compared to actually seeing the real thing. They extended their discussion to include asking question about what types of dinosaurs, if any, were in Ohio? As well as how do we know what they look like? How do scientists know that they put the bones together correctly?

"Being able to tell and show the students things that I learned about is a great thing. The biggest thing for me was seeing the tanks that are kept outside the oil sites. Noticing the life preservers that are kept on the water tanks and why they are there are things that I never thought of, and I assume my students also do not think of, when considering a well.”