This Spring, the Telluride Mountain School first and second grade students traveled to Fruita, Colorado where they spent three days exploring the Morrison Formation.
The Morrison Formation is a sequence of upper Jurassic Sedimentary rock where many dinosaur fossils have been found. Students began their exploration with a visit to the Museum of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey Museum. The Dinosaur Journey displayed real fossils, cast skeletons and robotic reconstructions of dinosaurs found in and around Western Colorado. At the museum, students were able to investigate fragments of bones, dinosaur footprints and real, live fish that survived extinction. Students made connections through hands-on experiences with paleontology digs and exposure to a working laboratory where scientists are piecing together bone fragments from local quarry sites.
Students then spent a day on a 25-mile stretch of the Colorado River from Lomo to Ruby Horsethief, where they experienced local flora and fauna from juniper trees to bald eagles. Along the river, students were surrounded by cliff faces with some of the oldest geological rock in all of Colorado.
The trip came to a close with a hike to Rabbit Valley on the Trail through Time. The hike bridged classroom research to real life evidence of Jurassic fossils that are preserved in sedimentary rock and available for students to touch and examine close-up. Throughout the trip, adventure, songs, and reflection provided meaningful experiences for individual growth and class bonding.
For a fun video recap of their trip please visit Vimeo
A photo gallery can also be viewed on Flickr
Written by Jordan Burlison, first and second grade teacher.