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.
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
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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.
Grades1 to 4
In the ClassroomUse 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).
Grades1 to 3
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.
In the ClassroomUse 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.
GradesK to 1
Many of these ideas and templates can be adapted for use with almost any subject or concepts, to differentiate for different learning styles. The lesson includes national standards.
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In the ClassroomExperienced and new teachers alike will find this example helpful in designing multi-sensory, technology-infused lessons.
Grades3 to 12
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.
In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades2 to 10
In the ClassroomStudents can use the information in the Fossil Field Guide to create dioramas, posters, or digital media by using Make Beliefs Comics to create a fictional story of the extinct animal. Students can also use this information to show adaptations of organisms or similarities and differences between them. The information can also be used to identify structures that are also present in today's animal kingdom. Create a class time line that stretches the room and plots the animals that were present during each time period.
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomHook 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.
GradesK to 4
tag(s): dinosaurs (58)