Grade 5 : Standard 5 - Biodiversity and Change

Conceptual Strand 5

A rich variety of complex organisms have developed in response to a continually changing environment.

Guiding Question 5

How does natural selection explain how organisms have changed over time?

Grade Level Expectations

Checks for Understanding

State Performance Indicators

GLE 0507.5.1 Investigate physical characteristics associated with different groups of animals.

GLE 0507.5.2 Analyze fossils to demonstrate the connection between organisms and environments that existed in the past and those that currently exist.


0507.5.1 Classify animals according to their physical characteristics.

0507.5.2 Design a model to illustrate how an animalís physical characteristics enable it to survive in a particular environment.

0507.5.3 Identify the processes associated with fossil formation.

0507.5.4 Use fossil evidence to describe an environment from the past.

0507.5.5 Use fossils to match a previously existing organism with one that exists today.

SPI 0507.5.1 Identify physical and behavioral adaptations that enable animals such as, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals to survive in a particular environment.

SPI 0507.5.2 Explain how fossils provide information about the past.





Additional Activities on Fossils

Activity 1

Use Geologic Time Scale to help students understand how old the Earth is:

Discuss that Earth started out with different plants and animals than we know today that have become extinct over time. Point out the following using the Geologic Time Line:

Use a piece of yard as a timeline to illustrate the age of the Earth.  Using a scale of 1 mm = 1 million years, a time line of the Earth would be about 4.6 meters long. Show the ages of the items listed above on the timeline. (Note a mm is the size of the edge of a dime when looking at the side.)

United Streaming TLC Elementary School:  Prehistoric Earth  (Total Time 24:33) - Show Segment 3 Events in Earth's Past (6:11)

Activity 2

Ask students to tell you how man knows about the animals that lived on Earth such a long time ago.
(Encourage students to come up with the word fossil.)

What is a fossil?

Go over the definition of a fossil.

Fossils are the preserved remains of plants and animals or traces left by plants and animals such as footprints.

Explain how fossils are made.

  1. Some animals were quickly buried after they died in mud or sand

  2. Over time more and more sand and mud covered their bodies.

  3. The bones and teeth turned into fossils over time.

  4. The bone slowly decayed and water than contained minerals soaked into the the empty places. The minerals filled up the bone.

  5. The process resulted in a rock-like copy of the original object which is a fossil.

Show video - United Streaming Earth Science Fossils (20:00)

Activity 3

Using cards have students complete the following activities:

  • Match animal to fossil of the animal

  • Sort cards by carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore

  • Sort cards by bird, mammal, amphibian, reptile, or fish

Activity 4

Game - Put skeleton together to form animal



World Climate

Desert Outline Map