a. Investigate fossils by observing authentic fossils or

Sample Assessment Items
This is not meant to be printed off and given as a test…this document is to give you ideas
of how this standard might be assessed. Please use these as an example when you are
developing your own formative assessments. Remember formative assessment is to be
given throughout the teaching of a standard to help you guide your instruction based on
students needs. A good formative assessment should have a mix of multiple choice as
well as open ended.
S3E2. Students will investigate fossils as evidence of organisms that lived long ago.
a. Investigate fossils by observing authentic fossils or models of fossils or view
information resources about fossils as evidence of organisms that lived long ago.
Multiple Choice:
Lillie brought home several different seashells from the beach. Which one is a fossil?
a. a clump of seashells stuck together
b. a rock with an imprint of a seashell
c. two seashell halves that fit together
d. a hermit crab that died on the way home
Answer: b
Scientists found this fossil in a desert.
Which would scientists MOST LIKELY conclude after seeing this fossil?
a. People once lived in the desert.
b. Some fish do not live in the water.
c. Many types of plants grew in the desert.
d. There was once a body of water in the desert.
Answer: d
A scientist found a fossil of a woolly mammoth on the bottom of the ocean.
What inference can the scientist make from her discovery?
a. Fish used to live on dry land.
b. Someone placed the fossil in the lake.
c. This area was not always covered by water.
d. There were fewer woolly mammoths in ancient times.
Answer: c
Which is the BEST definition of a fossil?
a. a dinosaur
b. a plant or an animal
c. something that lived long ago
d. the remains of something that lived long ago
Answer: d
What is the BEST way scientists can learn about the environments of the past?
a. by writing books
b. by studying fossils
c. from microorganisms
d. looking at plants today
Answer: b
Why do scientists think that Georgia was once underwater?
a. The soil in Georgia is still very wet.
b. Ammonites had hard shells like snails.
c. Many fossils found in Georgia are of sea animals.
d. Walking trout live in the Flint River in western Georgia.
Answer: c
Which of these is MOST LIKELY true about the picture below?
a. The animal is still alive.
b. It is a fossil of a plant eater.
c. It is a fossil of a meat eater.
d. It is an endangered animal.
Answer: c
The picture below shows four different rock layers in a hillside.
What is the best evidence that one of these layers of rock was formed under an ocean?
a. the thickness of the layer
b. the type of fossils in the layer
c. the number of caves in the layer
d. the height above sea level of the layer
Answer: b
Open ended:
What is a fossil?
How are different fossil types formed?
What are the characteristics of different fossil types?
Where are fossils most likely to be found?
Explain how scientists use fossils as evidence of organisms that lived long ago.
Why might you find a fossil of an aquatic organism in a desert?
What can you learn about an organism by studying a fossil?
You have found a rock with an impression in it. How would you decide if it is a fossil?
How do scientists know that dinosaurs lived long ago?
What can the footprints left behind by an animal tell you about what the animal was