What the Dinosaurs Saw Extension Activities
Four fun activities for continuing the learning about dinosaurs
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
About this book
1. With the help of the children, measure the lengths of some of the biggest dinosaurs. You can do this on the playground. Have students stand in a row with outstretched arms. How many, children long is the dinosaur? Have you seen other things that are as big as a dinosaur? What might you do if one came into the school yard?
2. Organize a scavenger hunt. Help children cut string equal to the length of small dinosaurs. With the help of the string, try to find things that are close to, or the same size as, some of the smaller dinosaurs. Have you seen animals that are about this size? How would you feel if one came into the school yard?
3. To simulate the reconstruction of a dinosaur from bones, divide the class into groups and provide each with plastic animal bones or dinosaur puzzles (obtainable from toy stores). Then have the groups reconstruct the animals.
4. Much of what paleontologists know about dinosaurs is based upon inference. To give the students practice in inference, first construct containers from opaque paper cups, preferably hot cups. There should be enough cups for each group of students to have five.
- In each cup, make 4 evenly spaced cuts from the rim toward the bottom. The cuts should be about the length of the cup opening.
- In each of five cups place a different small object, such as: a die, small block, eraser, marble, penny, or paper clip. Repeat, using identical objects, for each set of cups.
- Fold over the cut sections to close the opening and seal them with masking tape. Make sure there are no gaps that allow the object to be seen.
- Label each set of cups A–E and distribute them to the groups.
- Tell the children they are to practice being scientist and gather information about a “new discovery” in each cup without opening the cup.
- Tell them their data is to be descriptive. For example: it rolls, it seems smooth, it has sides, makes a noise like metal. They are not to say what they think it is. Discourage guessing.
- After they have gathered information, display one item at a time and discuss with children whether their inferences were accurate.