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.
Explore all of our resources about dinosaurs.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): animals (320), architecture (84), art history (81), aviation (35), black history (58), civil war (142), dinosaurs (54), explorers (68), images (283), inventors and inventions (89), scientists (69)
In the ClassroomThe Smithsonian Learning Lab is a must-add to your list of classroom bookmarks! Search for collections and information throughout the year on all topics. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific collections. Be sure to take advantage of the many features of this site to create customized collections, then have students add additional resources. Have students create quizzes for review of topics. Challenge students to create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): aircraft (25), amphibians (21), animals (320), asia (73), aztecs (9), birds (52), china (65), cultures (108), dinosaurs (54), earth (223), earthquakes (51), ecosystems (91), electricity (93), energy (210), erosion (19), europe (72), forces (48), insects (72), literature (267), mammals (35), mayans (14), medicine (68), microscopes (13), moon (75), oceans (166), photography (156), planets (131), polar (18), population (64), religions (69), rocks (52), romans (35), scientists (69), solar system (121), space (226), sports (98), telescopes (10), vikings (10), weather (205)
In the ClassroomUse Q-Files as an informational reading source for a variety of subjects. In science and social studies use as a way to provide background information for inquiry-based projects. Have students use resources for multimedia projects such as Slidestory, reviewed here, Prezi reviewed here, or Flipboard, reviewed here, to share their findings. Pair these articles with literature to provide a better background information base, such as information on ancient China or Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Add as a bookmark to student computers and on your class website.
GradesK to 9
tag(s): addition (224), animals (320), dinosaurs (54), division (159), earth (223), literature (267), multiplication (209), musical notation (39), plants (176), space (226), subtraction (186), writing (363)
In the ClassroomDK FindOut features subject-based, curriculum-linked articles that support classroom learning. These resources also contain ideas for projects or homework. Sign up for a Teacher account and have the option to use the Lesson Planner to organize information in the creation of a lesson. Use this site to find answers to popular student questions. Bookmark this site on class computers for students to find answers to questions they may have in class. Place a link to this site on your class web page for students to access when the questions pop up! Use this as an incentive for students to "teach" and share what they understand about the answer to their classmates. They could do this in an impromptu speech, or more formally with an infographic using a tool such as Easl.ly, reviewed here, or a word cloud (graphic) using Wordle, reviewed here. Find great question starters for lessons and build an engaging lesson using many of these curricular resources.
Grades1 to 5
In the ClassroomShare OneGeology on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce your geology unit to students. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to explain different geologic phenomenon.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomProvide this link to students on your class page. Provide time to view various pages of the site to gather general information to discuss as a class. Be sure to share the view from space and the map/geography on an interactive whiteboard or projector to the whole class. Identify the various Antarctic visitors (both human and other animals that come and go). Students can write a letter home and pretend to be one of the many visitors using information from this site in their creation. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. The site is text heavy. Consider pairing weaker readers with stronger readers. After students explore the site, have small groups create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to describe the life and times of dinosaur species. At the time of this review the "Eggs" game did not appear to work.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on animals on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site as a learning station or center. Pair weaker readers with others to help with text-heavy portions. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site, and have them create a simple infographic about an animal and its relatives sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create online animal posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here.
GradesK to 8
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In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site for use throughout the year with science lessons. Nearly all activities would work well on your projector or interactive whiteboard. For Example, use the Cell Games (including animal, plant, and bacterial cells) to introduce and explore parts of cells. Create a link on classroom computers or use on laptop carts for students to explore on their own. Simple online coloring science activities require no reading. Share this site with parents for exploration and reinforcement at home.
Grades1 to 5
In the ClassroomEncourage students to explore the world of paleontology. Add this site to your unit of Earth science, or dinosaurs. Introduce on your interactive whiteboard and encourage students to do more research on specific areas that fossils have been discovered. Challenge students to create a wiki about dinosaurs and paleontology (or add to one you already have). Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Have students integrate this knowledge with other informational books to do a short, focused research project to align with Common Core standards. (Learn more about short, focused research projects a la Common Core in this article.) Include actually "making" fossils to integrate art into your study. Add to a literacy center for further exploration. Include this link on your class website for students to access outside of class.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomTake advantage of this FREE, kid-friendly site to explore dinosaurs. Be sure to help students identify which links are ads and which take you to site content. Students researching dinosaurs? Use the profile pages to learn about 11 of the most famous dinosaurs. The audio option allows lower-level readers to access the information on a level playing field. Interactive pages provide an excellent resource for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Explore the site as a learning station or with whole group instruction. The videos provide a great introduction to a dinosaur unit. Students can build their own dinosaurs and create their own profile pages for a writing activity. Create your own time period with the dinosaurs your students created after viewing the "Age of the Dinosaurs" timeline. Create fun facts or trading cards about their existence. Use a tool like the Trading Card maker reviewed here to turn screenshots of students' creations into trading cards. Discuss theories about the dinosaurs your students built to explain how they became extinct while citing information from the DinoMight site.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomHave students create their own dino using the Build a Dino activity. Challenge students to draw and describe their dinosaur with an explanation of how and why different body parts were chosen. Use this as a descriptive writing piece. Create a class book of Dinosaur Creations! Choose from the webquests offered on the site for your class. Use webquests not only to learn about dinosaurs but also to sharpen research and debate skills. Have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to record where dinosaur fossils have been found. This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): addition (224), alphabet (85), angles (87), branches of government (52), charts and graphs (197), density (24), dinosaurs (54), division (159), electricity (93), erosion (19), fractions (229), geology (78), geometric shapes (169), inferencing (5), literacy (105), logic (244), minerals (18), money (184), multiplication (209), place value (54), reading comprehension (127), rocks (52), senses (31), subtraction (186), transformations (18), weather (205)
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 Speechable, reviewed here.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): animals (320), baseball (36), biomes (139), business (58), charts and graphs (197), civil war (142), dinosaurs (54), egypt (64), field trips (12), immigrants (22), immigration (61), japan (60), maps (295), mayans (14), medieval (27), mexico (32), multiple intelligences (9), musical instruments (52), nutrition (159), olympics (52), painting (65), probability (137), religions (69), rocks (52), russia (35), sports (98), statistics (126), tessellations (6), test prep (95), virtual field trips (54), volcanoes (67), water cycle (32)
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.
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 8
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 Animaker, 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 an Adobe Spark interactive poster, 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 interactive poster. Have them choose whether to use Animaker, reviewed here, or Animoto, reviewed here, for the video they will upload to their poster.
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.