Paleozoic Webquest


Nigel Marven is an intrepid biologist/paleontologist who works in a zoo which houses extinct animals. He travels back in time to get specimens of organisms for his zoo and to learn about some fascinating episodes in Earth’s past. He wants to enhance the Paleozoic section by adding one new centerpiece organism. (If you are not familiar with Nigel’s work,  check out one of his shows on YouTube.)


You are going to help Nigel select the next organism for his Prehistoric Park. He has some ideas for the organisms from which he'll choose. He needs you to research these options and present the one that will make the best exhibit.


You will work in groups of four to research each organism, learn about their habits and habitat, and select the one that will make the best attraction in the new exhibit. You will be graded with a rubric, available in GoogleDocs.

1) Each person should research one organism and complete a graphic organizer, available in GoogleDocs

-- Use the links provided to research your organism. (Click on the image to get to the links.)

Anomalocaris (image from BioBookPaleo3)                                                Nautiloids (image from                

Conodont (image from wikipedia)                                                                            Trilobites (image from                                              

2) The group should get together to compare notes, and complete the bottom portion of the graphic organizer, explaining which organism was selected and the reasons behind that selection.

3) The fifth person in the group, or the group of four as a whole, should then outline the letter to, or brochure for, Nigel. Each group member should assess the outline, and a draft of the letter, or brochure should be made. (The letter may, and a brochure must, include images.) The letter should be 700-900 words, the brochure should be 500-800 words.

4) All group members should check to see that proper citations are in place.

In-text citations    Plagiarism/Grammar Checker     Rules on when to cite

5) Look back at the rubric.


You will be graded on both the collaborative nature of your group work and the qualitiy of the final product. You will each, anonymously, grade one-another on the collaborative element. This will be 20% of your grade.

The remaining 80% will come from the rubric you use to evaluate the quality of the final product.


Nigel's new exhibit will look great, and visitor's will be pleased with the trip to the Prehistoric Park. Thanks for all of your hard work!

                                                                                                          Image used without permission.

 Brett Dooley Website Maintained since 2011 Last Updated July 2019