TeachersFirst's Dinosaur Resources
Kids "dig" dinosaurs, whether they learn about them in science class while studying paleontology and geology or simply include explore dinosaur as a personal favorite topic. Dinosaurs are an elementary school perennial, but even high school students enjoy digging into fossils and geologic time. This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst features a wide range of lesson ideas and research sources for students of all ages. Spend some "geologic time" as you try some of the project ideas or simply make this collection available to your dino-maniacs.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomMake history (and mythology) come alive in your classroom with a little rhythm and rhyme! Use the poems to supplement your instruction while even adding tambourines, clapping, tapping, or toe tapping reaching all learners. Share the actual poem on your projector or Interactive whiteboard. If you want students to have a hard copy of the poem (to use as a study guide), print it out. Otherwise, save paper and share the link on your class website. If you can't find the history or mythology topic you are studying, it is time for your students to make their own rhymes. Have students create poems for photos and images using either the computer or cell phones using Yodio (reviewed here). To find Creative Commons images for student poems (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Have a poetry day featuring what you have studied in history. Be sure to add your students' projects to your class website or blog. Gifted students will enjoy the challenge while struggling learners will enjoy the reinforcement of the main ideas.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomInvite Ruff Ruffman into your classroom to add spice to your science, language arts, and math curriculum. Although contestants are ages 10-14, younger students would benefit by watching the activities. Some may be too challenging for younger students to complete on their own. Students will identify with the contestants as they learn and laugh along with Ruff. Add a Ruff adventure or interview as an anticipatory guide for a unit. Share a clip or experiment on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use as a way to enrich during your unit on mammals, motion, or problem solving. Have older elementary students (or middle school) become familiar with the show's format, and create an "episode" based on your unit of study. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos to share using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Create a writing experience from episodes given. Use an episode as a spark to begin a further area of inquiry. Add to your computers as a center time activity, or even as a special earned award. Share on your website as an enrichment source, or a great place for educational learning.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): addition (180), alphabet (76), angles (62), branches of government (28), charts and graphs (159), density (17), dinosaurs (36), division (113), electricity (66), erosion (10), fractions (172), geology (64), geometric shapes (73), inferencing (3), literacy (75), logic (185), minerals (14), money (154), multiplication (159), place value (43), reading comprehension (68), rocks (35), senses (18), subtraction (145), transformations (11), weather (158)
In the ClassroomBookmark this site for great hands-on activities across the curriculum. Use the activities throughout the school year. Allow students to explore areas of the site to find activities to perform on their own. For example, click on the fractions tag and allow students to view the list of activities to choose their own exploration. When finished, challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain the activity and its outcome. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).
GradesK to 3
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tag(s): addition (180), alphabet (76), alphabetical order (12), colors (56), counting (100), dinosaurs (36), gravity (39), human body (68), independent reading (69), life cycles (18), map skills (45), phonics (63), preK (164), puzzles (164), subtraction (145)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for learning games, videos, and read-aloud books. Demonstrate the activities on your interactive whiteboard; then create a link on classroom computers for students to try on their own. Share this link with parents on your classroom website or newsletter as a resource for practicing math and reading skills at home. Use videos from the site to introduce science lessons and concepts.
GradesK to 7
tag(s): alphabet (76), animals (197), animation (43), clip art (8), colors (56), comics and cartoons (63), cooking (26), crafts (29), creative writing (98), cross cultural understanding (63), cultures (75), dance (21), dinosaurs (36), disabilities (15), diseases (52), drawing (61), fitness (40), flags (19), folktales (59), geometric shapes (73), grammar (197), homework (42), insects (52), journalism (22), measurement (121), museums (31), mysteries (20), numbers (159), nutrition (116), oceans (112), operations (84), origami (13), painting (58), photography (113), poetry (193), psychology (39), rainforests (10), religions (38), search engines (51), seasons (24), sign language (9), social networking (76), spelling (142), sports (65), trivia (12), vocabulary (289), weather (158)
In the ClassroomHelp students learn about narrowing and refining research by demonstrating this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. As you start a project, take the time to SHOW how to use this tool to save time and find appropriate resources. Allow students to explore this site on their own finding relevant information from the various topics. If time permits, have students research a specific topic and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): animals (197), baseball (38), biomes (112), business (45), charts and graphs (159), civil war (113), dinosaurs (36), egypt (60), field trips (8), immigrants (7), immigration (40), japan (57), maps (194), mayans (8), medieval (20), mexico (29), multiple intelligences (7), musical instruments (18), nutrition (116), olympics (40), painting (58), probability (85), religions (38), rocks (35), russia (24), sports (65), statistics (90), tessellations (5), test prep (72), virtual field trips (26), volcanoes (48), water cycle (26)
In the ClassroomImmerse your students into your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Create a personalized field trip to meet your every need with the detailed tutorials given. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site with students on your interactive whiteboard, then allow them to explore on their own. Share the site as a resource for student state research projects. Challenge your students to create a web exhibit collection about states using a tool such as Bag The Web (reviewed here) to share all of the important links, information, and even brief descriptions.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard then allow students to explore on their own. Create a scavenger hunt with information from the site for students to find. Brainstorm with Edistorm (reviewed here), having students add sticky notes of things they learn - or questions-- about Montana on the online shared whiteboard. Use this site as part of a web exhibit collection about states using a tool such as Bag The Web (reviewed here) to share all of the important links, information, and even brief descriptions.
Grades2 to 7
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In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link on classroom computers and allow students to explore the site on their own. Create a link to specific activities on your classroom website or blog each week for students to practice. Have students create their own word search using vocabulary, terms, or spelling words. Use a site such as PuzzleMaker (reviewed here).
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomUse the quizzes on the site as a pre-assessment when beginning a new unit. Share images and videos included on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to supplement classroom learning. Use the ideas from projects or experiments as resources for Science fairs. Assign experiments for students to demonstrate in class. Video the experiment presentations and share them with parents using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Create a link on classroom computers for students to try the activities on the site.
Grades1 to 6
In the ClassroomShare this site with students to explore on their own to learn more about the canine family when learning about groups of animals. Use the recommended reading list as a resource for students who love dogs and canines. Complete the grow your own minerals activity when learning about rocks and minerals. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades1 to 3
tag(s): dinosaurs (36)
Grades1 to 8
tag(s): geology (64)
In the ClassroomChoose your subject and use your interactive whiteboard and projector to introduce your students to the topic using a game, or a movie. After students have completed the study of the subject, have them create their own movie to show their understanding of the topic. Use xtra normal (reviewed here) for a project like this. During your study of the Middle Ages in Europe (or any other time period) have your students read the short texts at Kids Know It (History Textbook), then divide the students into groups of four or five and divide the topics listed under the Middle Ages. Give one or more topic(s) to each group to research for more in-depth knowledge. As a final assessment have the groups create a Glog (reviewed here) to teach the class about their topic. Have them create videos about an interesting aspect or person from their topic to upload to their Glog. Have them choose whether to use xtra normal (reviewed here) or Animoto (reviewed here) for the video they will upload to their Glog.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomShare this website on your projector or interactive white board. Present the activities within this site as activators for new skills and lessons. Provide the activities within center time for reinforcement of new skills or for those students who may be struggling with a prior skill. Be sure to list this link on your website for students to access both in and out of class for additional practice.
Grades1 to 6
In the ClassroomCheck school policies about setting up student accounts and passwords and be sure to keep a record of student passwords! No email is required. Set up at the computer center and keep a chart for each student's progress and points collected. Demonstrate on the interactive whiteboard or projector, record terms used during the games (ex: history - iron age, stone age, and bronze age) to research. This would be an ideal link to provide on your class website for students to access at home.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse these great interactives (and information) to learn interesting information about nature and the organisms in it. For example, under "Mammals," choose "Build a Digestive System" or "Evolution of Appendages" to learn more about how animals are adapted to live in their environment. Other interactives include "Bird Yard" that challenges learners to develop a habitat for birds and "Tracks" for learning to calculate the speed of a horned dinosaur. Use these interactives as a pre-activity to your unit on ecosystems or animals or as a way to connect learned information in an exciting and engaging way.
GradesK to 4
NOTE: the popularity of this site can make it slow to load, especially at peak times. Open it on the classroom computer before the lesson so it is in the "cache," and avoid heavy traffic times such as 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time when schools are online across the U.S.
In the ClassroomIf you are teaching about dinosaurs, herbivores, carnivores, measurements, and many other topics, share this site on your interactive whiteboard. Share parts of the video clips and then discuss the science concepts discussed. Have students use the "Field Guides" to learn more about specific dinosaurs. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations about the dinosaurs they study. How about creating a class DinoWiki (dinosaur wiki). Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Be sure to list this site on your class website for all of your dinosaur loving students to view at home!
NOTE: Open this site on the classroom computer before the lesson so it is in the "cache," and avoid heavy traffic times such as 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time when schools are online across the U.S.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Science News for Kids as a great reading and reporting assignment. Weaker readers will need a reading buddy for some of the more challenging article. Classes in lower grades will want to read the articles together. A quick check on one article using Juicy Studio's Readability test (reviewed here) provided an approximate grade level of 6.5. Check articles before assigning to elementary students. Students can find an article of interest to read, summarize, and report to the class as part of a Science in My World unit or regular science current events activity. Have students create commercials about their topics. Video and share using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Students can use these news articles to find additional relevant information on the internet. Students may find these topics to be great independent study topics. Teach reading comprehension using these factual articles on your interactive whiteboard, asking students to highlight key words and generate a "main idea" sentence using them. Articles offer ideal practice for informational reading questions on high-stakes reading tests.
GradesK to 5
If you click on the Student View a spinning wheel will appear. Students can spin to choose a random activity! Many of these activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. Introduce this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If a student finishes early and needs some enrichment or is struggling and needs some extra practice, look here for some interactive help! Share this site on your class website for students to access outside of the classroom.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): dinosaurs (36)
In the ClassroomUse an interactive whiteboard or projector to effectively show and discuss the dinosaur dig and museum to your class. This Smithsonian website also features a fossil lab slide show if your students crave to learn about this branch of science. Have your students research different types of lesser known dinosaurs and create interactive presentations to share with the class. Rather than a presentation about the research, have students write a fictitious blog post from their researched dinosaur to a large animal of today (such as the elephant). What characteristics do they share? What makes them different?
Teachers of gifted students-- even younger ones-- will want to steer their dinosaur-obsessed students to this site for independent projects.