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Pre-assessment tasks help you to find out what knowledge, experiences, skills and attitudes your students have before you begin any science instruction. In some instances, you might find it useful to have students write their responses to a short set of simple questions on the topic. Examples might be: What is a fossil? What kinds of things can become a fossil? How do you tell how old a fossil is? where is the best place for a fossil to form? How long does it take for a fossil to form? It is important that you find out what informal ideas your students already have about fossils before you begin instruction. You can ask them to respond to the questions above, either in writing or orally. Keep their responses for later, so that you can compare what they think at the beginning of your instruction on fossils to what they know at the end.