Actvity Summary: Microfossils are exactly what they sound like – tiny fossils! There are several different subcategories: foraminifera, radiolaria, and nannofossils. Micropaleonologists find these microfossils in the core the JOIDES Resolution collects from the Earth’s crust. Micro means small so most of the microfossils must be seen through a microscope. Although the fossilized shells show up as white now, they used to be all kinds of colors when the organisms were still living!


This pdf provides templates for many microfossils, however, there are hundreds of types not included here. You can find more images of microfossils at mikrotax.org.

Disclaimer: These images are not to be scientifically accurate portrayals of each type of microfossil but rather as a template for creative expression. Because these were once alive organisms there was also quite a bit of variation in the way members of the same species would have looked.

Materials Needed:

  • Embroidery floss or thread
  • Various sizes of needles
  • Wooden embroidery hoops
  • Scissors
  • Fabric


  • Patterns
  • Scale, proportion, quantity
  • Structure and function

  • Developing and using models
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

  • ESS2. E Biogeology
  • LS1.B Growth and development of organisms