Click here for a printable version

Title:  Making Fossils
Level:  Primary


Students, by making their own fossils will better understand how fossils are created. 


  1. Plaster of Paris
  2. Paper Plates
  3. Objects to make impressions of (leaves, shells, twigs, grass, flower, etc.)
  4. Paint (optional)


Explain to students about fossilization.

            Fossilization:  The preservation of the remains or an imprint of a living organism in a geological structure.

  1. Pour Plaster of Paris onto the paper plates. (You might want to do this ahead of time.)
  2. Have students press items into the Plaster of Paris, lifting them up right away to make impressions.
  3. Explain to students that normally fossils are created when the object decomposes.
  4. Let plaster dry.
  5. Paint if you would like. Try using different colored paint for each impression.

Variation:  Wrap a plaster of Paris ball around a small plastic object (e.g., toy for birthday bags like dinosaurs, spiders, etc.).  Crack the ball carefully and you should see an impression of the object in the plaster.