Tell Them a Story… Make it a Real One!

Children love real life stories about adults when they were children. Their questions and discussion are very honest and open. It helps a teacher connect and bond with the students. Do it as often as you can!

I have a simple piece of shale. This rock is a type of mudstone. It breaks into thin parallel pieces and forms in places like lakes and deep marine areas. My rock is very dear to me because IT HAS A STORY!

shale fossil

I was about 10 years old when my aunt asked me to go with her for a ride. She didn’t really tell me where we were going. I cannot remember many of the details, but it was a hot day and we pulled into a dusty place where they were digging out shale from the hillside. When the men and the machines left, we dug out slabs of rock and picked through them. Why my aunt wanted fossils, I don’t know. I chose the one you see in the picture to keep. It left me with questions about how fossils form and how seashells got in the hillside in the first place.

After I talk for awhile, the children are all eager to hold the rock and look at the fossils. They are gentle and quiet until one little girls says, “So, this is a very old rock, right? I know because you were a kid a long time ago.”

I just smile. I know it is better to be a live fossil than a dead one!