Today we took two carloads of people and a whole bunch of fossil plants to Monroeton Elementary School in Reidsville, North Carolina, to teach Christa Winingham’s 1st grade class about fossil plants. This is the third program on fossils we’ve done this year at Monroeton (the first two were on Ordovician shells and Miocene shark teeth), as part of a program I’m working on with Brett and Christa to use paleontology to teach basic science concepts in lower elementary school.
For this exercise we put together kits of fossil plants from the Boxley Beckley Quarry, including a variety of lycopods, ferns, and cordaites. I was joined by Brett, Tim (who took all the photos), Roanoke College botanist DB Poli, artist Mike Adkins, recent Roanoke College graduate Laura Kellam (who is working with me on the Lake Waccamaw whale), and current Roanoke College student Will Bader.
We spent an hour with the students, who started by identifying their plant samples using pressed modern relatives as a guide:
I’d like to thank Christa, Brett, Tim, DB, Mike, Laura, and Will for making this such a successful program, the Monroeton first graders for being such enthusiastic students!