Index Fossils Lab




Looking for a hands-on activity in which students differentiate between index fossils and other fossils through the use of everyday objects? Look no further!


This lab is intended to take approximately 60 minutes and includes an answer key.



  • newspaper
  • objects to use in making trace fossils (3)
  • clay
  • container, at least 25 cm X 20 cm X 15 cm (or approximately a shoe-box size)
  • varieties of “soil” (3)
  • sand
  • potting soil
  • pea gravel
  • mulch
  • shredded dried leaves
  • fresh grass cuttings
  • small shovel
  • scoop


Grade Levels: 8th – 12th
Total Pages: 14
Teaching Duration: 60 Minutes


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
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