TeachersFirst's Dinosaur Resources

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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.

Explore all of our resources about dinosaurs

 

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Science News for Students - Society for Science and the Public

Grades
3 to 12
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Kid-friendly science articles to intrigue all ages fill this freshly-redesigned site. Browse menus for illustrated news articles on "Inventions & Innovations," "Space," "Culture," "Body...more
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Kid-friendly science articles to intrigue all ages fill this freshly-redesigned site. Browse menus for illustrated news articles on "Inventions & Innovations," "Space," "Culture," "Body & Brain" or "Technology." A featured articles and "in the news" items make a big splash across the top of the home page to draw interest. Many articles list "POWER WORDS" at the end, highlighting terms and definitions used within that article. The page layouts and whitespace make the online articles uncluttered and legible. The site has reorganized into a structure that roughly parallels school curriculum, so it is even easier to find articles connected to specific science areas.

tag(s): agriculture (58), animals (292), computers (99), dinosaurs (54), engineering (130), environment (322), news (263), nutrition (154), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Use 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.

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Build a Dinosaur - Scholastic

Grades
1 to 4
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Come to this site and build a dinosaur! Students can choose the type of body, tail, head, and legs. As they click on the choices, information is provided about the ...more
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Come to this site and build a dinosaur! Students can choose the type of body, tail, head, and legs. As they click on the choices, information is provided about the six dinosaurs included in this activity: Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, Iguanodon, Triceratops, Anklosaurus, and Corythosaurus. The site teaches how the dinosaurs protect themselves, what they eat, and more. Students can create a "real" dinosaur, or their own creation. For example, give the dinosaur the head of the Iguanodon, the body of the Stegosaurus, the tail of the Anklosaurus, and the legs of the Triceratops. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): adaptations (17), dinosaurs (54), paleontology (40)

In the Classroom

Use this site during your dinosaur unit to teach about six well-known dinosaurs and the adaptations their bodies had to fit their environments and eating habits. Create the "real" dinosaurs on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Take time and have students read the facts presented about each body part of the dinosaur. Have students work on individual computers to create their own dinosaur (using parts from various dinosaurs). Have students print their dinosaurs, name their new type of dinosaur, and write a story about it (describing what the dinosaur eats, how it protects itself, and other factual information).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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2nd Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
1 to 3
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This site was created for second grade students. It offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject...more
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This site was created for second grade students. It offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several topics. The topics vary greatly and include addition, subtraction, multiplication, dinosaurs, Earth, the solar system, continents, oceans, compound words, contractions, and more! Much of the site consists of interactive quiz style questions (rather than background information). But this site does have a little bit of everything.

Although some of the activities are not highly interactive, they are well done and could be very useful in the classroom. Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): addition (225), continents (49), dinosaurs (54), oceans (156), subtraction (185)

In the Classroom

Use the activities at this site as an anticipatory activity for a new topic, or review prior to the big quiz. The site's activities would work well on an interactive whiteboard or projector. List this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.

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Sea Monsters Virtual Dig - National Geographic

Grades
3 to 12
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Students are always fascinated and intrigued about animals that are extinct. Follow the actual work of paleontologists in this interactive site. Choose a fossil dig site to start from...more
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Students are always fascinated and intrigued about animals that are extinct. Follow the actual work of paleontologists in this interactive site. Choose a fossil dig site to start from "Giant fish's last meal," "Deadly dinosaur duel," or "Dinosaur nest." Read introductions and background information about paleontology. Use the basic tools of paleontology to uncover fossil remains. Move the tools (hammer, pick, and brush) to areas you wish to use them. After clearing enough of the structures, the fossil will automatically be revealed. Move on to the view the steps for the preparation of the shipment of the fossil and the reporting of the findings .

Follow the links along the top to resources and lesson plans for all levels in pdf documents, pictures, movie trailers, and an interactive time line. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fossils (44), paleontology (40)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share information about fossil digs. Students can fit these animals into time lines of other animals discussed in class. Use during a unit about ecosystems and food chains as well as how the remains of fossils have become the fuels of today.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Who Dung It? - BBC

Grades
6 to 10
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Use logical reasoning, your knowledge of prehistoric animals, and the scientific approach of a paleontologist to match the type of ancient "dung" to the animal who produced it. After...more
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Use logical reasoning, your knowledge of prehistoric animals, and the scientific approach of a paleontologist to match the type of ancient "dung" to the animal who produced it. After finding out if you are right, read about the creature whose droppings are featured. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dinosaurs (54), fossils (44), paleontology (40)

In the Classroom

Hook your reluctant scientists and readers with this interactive challenge. This is a great way to introduce scientific approach and provide students with practice in the logic scientists use. Share the site on a projector or laptops as a whole class or partner activity to introduce your "what is science" unit, especially with skeptical middle schoolers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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DinoDictionary.com - Arts and Letters Corp.

Grades
K to 4
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For the avid dinosaur lover! Students can look up any dinosaur in this user-friendly dinosaur dictionary. Do not forget to listen to the dinosaur talk...and give a brief description...more
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For the avid dinosaur lover! Students can look up any dinosaur in this user-friendly dinosaur dictionary. Do not forget to listen to the dinosaur talk...and give a brief description of itself as well as the appropriate way to pronounce each individual dinosaur name. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): dinosaurs (54)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your teacher web page during a unit on dinosaurs or for your dino-maniacs to explore for enrichment during school breaks. You could also use it as a source for student research; even non-readers can learn using the audio self-profiles. Play a dino sound file for your students as a listening activity!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dinosaur! - NPS

Grades
5 to 12
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There is much to explore in this impressive site from the National Park Service that takes visitors on a multimedia tour of the Dinosaur National Monument. The multimedia features are...more
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There is much to explore in this impressive site from the National Park Service that takes visitors on a multimedia tour of the Dinosaur National Monument. The multimedia features are especially riveting. Students can follow the experiences of a fossil, from the point at which it is discovered, to its placement in the museum. A video clip highlights the amazing work being done by paleontologists, and an interactive sketch allows visitors to explore an artist's conception of the prehistoric landscape. A dinosaur family tree and geologic timeline are also included.

tag(s): dinosaurs (54), fossils (44), paleontology (40)

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What Did T. rex Taste Like? - U.C. Berkeley

Grades
7 to 12
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This well-organized site from U.C. Berkeley provides high school students with an introduction to cladistics (a way of organizing living things by common ancestry and evolutionary relationships)...more
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This well-organized site from U.C. Berkeley provides high school students with an introduction to cladistics (a way of organizing living things by common ancestry and evolutionary relationships) and involves students in posing hypotheses about past life based upon evolutionary history. The site was created with support from the National Science Foundation.

tag(s): dinosaurs (54), evolution (101), fossils (44)

In the Classroom

Use this activity as a learning center or station during a unit on cladistics. Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and have students complete the activity in pairs or cooperative learning groups. This would be a great activity during a Biology class. As an extension, students can summarize what they learned in an flow chart or graphic organizer. Have students use a site such as Befuddler, (reviewed here).

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Prehistoric Life - Victoria Museum, Australia

Grades
6 to 12
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This basic introduction to paleontology from Australia's Victoria Museum offers a look at fossils, dinosaurs, and prehistoric animals. Teachers may find it interesting to see how fossil...more
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This basic introduction to paleontology from Australia's Victoria Museum offers a look at fossils, dinosaurs, and prehistoric animals. Teachers may find it interesting to see how fossil records differ in Australia from those in the U.S. and Europe.

tag(s): dinosaurs (54), fossils (44), paleontology (40)

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The Dino Directory - British Museum of Natural History

Grades
4 to 12
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This site from the British Museum of Natural History is a rich resource for images of dinosaurs. Users can select by body type, country, geologic time period, and other idicies. ...more
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This site from the British Museum of Natural History is a rich resource for images of dinosaurs. Users can select by body type, country, geologic time period, and other idicies. Apart from the images, which are watermarked, there is only basic information on the size and environment of each creature. While not intended for elementary students, the navigation is simple enough for these students to use effectively in finding images.

tag(s): dinosaurs (54)

In the Classroom

In a unit on dinosaurs, share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector with students. The function they will most interesting about this site is the area that describes the dinosaurs that existed in their local area! Brief bios are presented on all the dinosaurs, so this could also be a great resource if the students were to research their local dinosaurs for a project.

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