Seashells and Fossils

The "Seashells and Fossils" program introduces K-2 students to marine fossils through the study of modern seashells and coastal sediment from the Aurora, NC. Below are some sample resources we have developed for this topic. If you would like to borrow mineral samples for your classroom, check out our Loaner Kits.

They are all free for you to use thanks to the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Appalachian State University. If you have questions about any of these resources, field trip opportunities, classroom visits or to request activities for different topics, please our Outreach Coordinator at


  • Sea Shell Cards- 2 slides including 6 cards each of common Eastern US seashells. Can be cut up and laminated for students to refer to them when ID'ing their shells. 
  • Seashell Examples- One sheet, 12 examples of common seashells (same as the cards, but arranged into one 11x17 sheet that can be printed out and laminated for groups to refer to. 
  • Seashell Coloring Page- Sheet of line drawings of the common shells featured in the Sea Shell Cards above. If students are sorting through a bag of miscellaneous shell samples, they can use this sheet to tally how many of each they find, write the names of the seashells next to them, and color them based on their observations of the samples. 
  • Seashells and Fossils Presentation- These slides introduce marine fossils through images and hands on activities consisting of sorting and identifying modern shells, then looking through marine fossil sediment from Aurora, NC. Have an assortment of shells and marine fossil samples (eg. whale vertebrae, shark teeth, horn coral, bachiopods, etc) available to show students during the presentation. Another hands on activity can include making molds and casts of shells using magic sand or clay.