Shark Teeth Forensics: Kenan Fellows Lessons

PDF versionPDF version
Paleontologist excavating fossils in Colorado's Dry Mesa Quarry

ERN Item Type: 

  • Classroom Activities


Students Discover


Shark teeth are the most commonly preserved fossils from sharks. In this lesson, students will learn how to identify parts of shark teeth and how to measure shark teeth using one of two methods (fitting teeth into circles or using a paper ruler). This is a prerequisite skill for Lesson 2 where students will sift through sediment to find shark teeth. Students will also read and discuss a story about interpreting fossil discoveries. In Lesson 2, students will sift through sediment to find shark teeth. They will measure the teeth using the measurement card from Lesson 1. They will record measurements on the board for the class to see. Once all data are collected, the class will create a bar graph to depict how frequently teeth of certain sizes are found. The shark teeth and data will be sent to Dr. Bucky Gates at the Paleontology and Geology Research Laboratory of the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Grade Level: 


Earth Science Big Ideas: 

Is this tagged to NGSS by the organization?: 


NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: