Kids Really Dig Paleontology Kindergartners Hunt Some Fossils

By Hart, Christie | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 9, 1999 | Go to article overview

Kids Really Dig Paleontology Kindergartners Hunt Some Fossils


Hart, Christie, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Christie Hart Daily Herald Staff Writer

Seth Mueller and his teammates on the dig sat hunched over clumps of dirt, painstakingly picking and brushing away little bits.

In the dirt were animal teeth and little bones the diggers were determined to unearth without damaging.

It was their mission as junior paleontologists.

The shark tooth Seth eventually found in his clump probably didn't mean a lot in the adult world of paleontology, but it did wonders for the kindergartner's appreciation for the people who study fossils.

Seth and his dig mates, kindergartners at McCarty Elementary School in Aurora, are setting out on a month-long study of dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric things, teacher Gina Paszkiewicz said.

They kicked off their studies by spending the day as junior fossil hunters.

"At this age, they really like dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are a huge motivation for them," Paszkiewicz said. "And for some, this will just open their minds up to the things we're going to talk about."

During their tenure as paleontologists, the children learned about fossils from science educators from Warrenville-based High Touch, High Tech.

They saw real-life fossils, made their own fossil imprints by pressing replica dinosaur teeth into clay, and tested their paleontology skills by delicately digging for fossils.

With their new understanding of how adults learn about dinosaurs, the McCarty kindergartners now do their own studies.

During February, the kids will learn about five different dinosaurs - their sizes, their eating habits, their bones, their aggressiveness. And, as they learn how long ago the dinosaurs lived, they'll learn how real paleontologists guess things about dinosaurs' colors and lives.

Picture this

Lisle High School students are getting a firsthand look at the techniques of a professional artist.

Muralist Glen Davies began work this week on a three-panel mural with a multicultural theme. The mural depicts people from different cultures coming together to a common table.

Davies is painting the mural on the school stage. Once it's finished next week, the mural will hang near the school office.

A group of high school art students are making their mark, too. …

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