Leave What You Find
Use this activity to introduce the Leave What You Find principle.
Participants will understand how removing fossils or artifacts destroys our picture of history.
Participants will be able to:
- Enjoy fossils, artifacts, and pictographs without harming them
- Preserve artifacts for future visitors
- Animal Track Puzzle - 1 copy for each 3-4 people
- Artifact Puzzle - 1 copy for each 3-4 people
- We learn a lot about the animals and people that lived here by observing what they leave behind.
- A fossil, shard of pottery, arrowhead, or other 'collectible' item on a mantle at home loses its historic value. Once it is removed from where it was found, it can no longer help piece together life in past years.
- Cut out the pieces to each puzzle - laminate them to use over and over.
- Scatter all the pieces to a puzzle in one area. Scatter only 2 or 3 pieces in another area. Place just 1 piece in another area.
- Divide into groups of 3 or 4.
- Explain that this land was once a popular watering hole but since then the mud has dried and turned to rock, leaving wonderful fossil impressions of animal footprints. The job of each team is to determine how many different kinds of animals lived in this area. Also, estimate what percentage had claws.
- OR, if using the Artifact Puzzle, explain that each group is a team of archeologists looking for clues about the civilization that lived here in the past. Each team will have an area to search, find clues, figure out what they discovered, and report back to the entire group.
- Assign each team to an area and tell them to find all the pieces they can and come up with a description of what they find.
- Ask a team that had 1 puzzle piece to report to the group.
- Ask a team with 3 pieces to report.
- Ask a team with all pieces to report.
- When someone removes a fossil or artifact, that makes the puzzle more difficult to solve.
- How can we appreciate these artifacts, yet still not destroy them? - take photos, sketch them.