Making Fossils

Suggested Grades



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


  • plaster of paris
  • paper plates
  • objects to make impressions of (leaves, shells, twigs, grass, flowers, etc.)
  • paint (optional)


  • Explain to students about fossilization.
    Fossilization:The preservation of the remains or an imprint of a living organism in a geological structure.
  • Pour out plaster of paris into the paper plates. (you might want to do this ahead of time).
  • Have students pressing items into the plaster of paris and lifting them up right away to make impressions.
  • Explain to students that normally, fossils are created when the object decomposes.
  • Let plaster dry.
  • Paint if you would like. Try using different coloured paint for each impression.
  • Variation:Wrap a plaster of paris ball around a small plastic object (eg: toy for birthday bags like dinosaurs, spiders, etc.). Crack the ball carefully and you should see an impression of the object in the plaster.