Introduction: Trilobites the Cambrian Explosion

The Cambrian Explosion

The Trilobite


Geological Time Table the Cambrian Explosion: Trilobites 9-12 K

Our lesson comes to an end with a multi step project of creating our own Trilobites from the Cambrain Explosion.

Our focus was to study fossils and recreate our own Trilobite. We are going to create a model of a trilobite using Crayola Air Dry Clay. WE are then going to create a 3D printed trilobite and compare both our Clay and 3D printed models to the real life fossil.

Concepts and Understanding:

1. Apply appropriate technical skills and academic knowledge.
2. Communicate clearly, effectively, and with reason.

3. Apply technology to enhance productivity.

4. Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

5. Work productively in teams while integrating competence.

6. Demonstrate creativity and innovation.

7. Employ valid and reliable research strategies.


Supplies needed:

Time Magazinze for kids

Images of a Trilobite fossils

A fossil of a Trilobite

Crayola Air Dry Clay

Watercolor paints

Paint brushes


A 3D Printer

3D printer filament

Step 1:

We first read "Time for Kids" The Earth First Animal. We learned all about the Cambrian Explosion creatures.

Step 2:

Trilobite Lesson Plan Goals:

To learn the external parts of the trilobite.

To understand how the trilobite used its parts

To increase vocabulary.To develop a background of information that will be used in classification.

For younger students, introducing new vocabulary as sight words along with a reading and writing component to support memorization.

Trilobite Lesson Plan Presentation:

Introduce the trilobite with a real fossil, pointing out the parts in a group discussion. If a fossil is not available to you, a large picture or drawing will work, but nothing makes an impression like the real thing.

As you point out the parts of the trilobite, talk about what each part does to help the animal survive.

Lay out the pictures in a horizontal line. Lay out the definitions with labels in a vertical line on the left side of your presentation space. As you do this, students may spontaneously read the labels out loud. Point out the red part. Say the name. Find the card with the matching definition and label. Read the definition; then lay it under the picture. Continue with this left to right. Use the control booklet to check the answers. Once students have learned the external parts and vocabulary students will move on to create their own Trilobite.

Step 3:

We studied images of the Cambrian creatures. We looked at pictures as well as a Youtube on the Cambrian Explosion.

Step 4:

We used air dry clay to make each individual part of the body of our Trilobite. Each piece of clay was shaped into the desired for and assembled together in the shape of the Trilobite.

Step 5:

We then painted our Trilobites with watercolor paints. We imagined and created our Trilobites to be vibrant and rich in color as many ocean fish are today.

Step 6:

After creating a Trilobite with air dry clay. We then used Tinkercad to design a replica Trilobite of our design to print. Our 3D print was a bit smaller when it printed but it also had amazing detail.

Step 7:

We compared our air dry clay Trilobite next to our 3D printed Trilobite. They both represented an excellent model of fossils Trilobite. We were able to look at the fossil of a Trilobite and match the details we created.

Step 8:

Classroom Science Contest

Participated in the
Classroom Science Contest