Tour through history
During our tour through 45-million years of Jurassic and Cretaceous Colorado history, we spotted this lumbering stegosaurus! The kids piled out to meet a bronze friend at the Dinosaur Ridge visitors center.

What a great week at Foothills Academy! It's only our second week back after the summer but we already did some field work to tour 45-million years of Colorado history from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and started an archaeology excavation behind the classroom!

School yard Excavation
The students work in their field crews to set up the grids for their 5-unit excavation behind our school, Foothills Academy, on Wednesday. Each team will excavate a one-meter-square unit - just like real archaeologists do!

On the dig, students are working in field crews of 4 sharing a meter-square unit, which is divided in quadrants (just like I saw the archaeologists do this summer). Today the students measured their square units, drove stakes in the corners, and strung string around the perimeters. When they find an artifact, they'll measure its depth below surface from this string. The students found some interesting artifacts during surface cleaning today, including potshards, a pair of glasses and some old Legos.

Writing Props
These are some of the props we used to get the students excited about a writing project. They climbed under the tables and drew picture stories on crumpled paper - trying to see what it was like for prehistoric people in cramped caves. Note the real caribou antler and musk ox fur collected this summer in Arctic Alaska.

In our Writer’s Workshop the young authors “got into character” for our prehistoric people study by “writing” a story in pictures on crumpled paper taped under their desk. We wanted to see what it was like for a prehistoric person telling a story in pictures on some smoky cave wall. I pulled out the musk ox wool and caribour antler I found in Arctic Alaska this summer as props. As te students told their stories, we decided they should create their own names for these animals because we don't know what language people were speaking in Beringia 11,500 years ago. They decided to call the musk ox "oosk."

Jurassic sediment
The kids scrambled at the chance to collect samples of sediment left in the Jurassic-period. This road cut for I-70 going west into the mountains apparently exposes 45-million years of history from the Jurassic and Cretaceous. Each child was able to collect layered models of the history in clear plastic water bottles.

Wednesday was a lot of fun as we toured 45-million years of Colorado history at the I-70 road cut on Dinosaur Ridge. Each child collected a layered example of Jurassic and Cretaceous period sediments in a clear plastic bottle.

Collecting Samples
Lena (right) and Mayah collect samples of Jurassic sediment where it washed off the road cut onto the footpath. Each student gathered a layered 45-million-year history of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods - when dinosaurs roamed our state!

They worked hard to hold their bottles upright so the layers wouldn't mix. We found dark gray carbon layers created by the remains of ancient plants, and other layers that turned orange when the sediment "rusted" or oxidized.

Sand ripples
Ryan (right) and Linus show some ancient sand ripples left in Cretaceous-period sandstone in the I-70 road cut. Some marks looked a lot like footprints!

After that we went to visit a bronze statue of the kinds of creatures who were living here in Colorado when these layers were deposited. The Stegosaurous attracted a huge following!


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