Eras & Periods

Objectives:

  • To discover how long ago dinosaurs lived.
  • To discover what a time line is.
  • To discover the difference between eras and periods.
  • To discover the era of the dinosaurs.
  • To discover the periods of the dinosaurs.
  • To discover the era of today.

Procedure:

  • Discussion of time line.
  • Use example of a student’s life on board (date of birth through present day), label any special events student had.
  • Discuss that Earth has a time line.
  • Introduce Earth’s time line on board (starting date through present day).
  • Divide into 2 eras (Mesozoic & Cenozoic) and the Mesozoic into 3 periods (Triassic, Jurassic, & Cretaceous), include dates.
  • Compare time line of Earth to calendar to summarize.

Materials/Resources:

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Pangea

Objectives:

  • To discover how the dinosaurs were found on different continents.
  • To discover what Pangaea is.
  • To discover continental drift is.

Procedure:

  • Show overhead of fossil sites and discuss.
  • Explain that continents fit together like puzzle to form one land mass called Pangaea.
  • Break class into cooperative groups to do continental drift experiment.
  • Each group gets worksheets, pan of water, and circle cut to four equal pieces (representing the continents).
  • Have students carefully place the 4 “continent” pieces on TOP of the water (they cannot be submerged or the experiment will not work).
  • Go around and place a drop of dish liquid in the center of the pieces (they should “drift” apart).
  • Have students write down conclusions on worksheets and share to summarize.

Materials/Resources:

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Fossils

(1) Objectives

  • To discover what a fossil is.
  • To discover how a dinosaur becomes a fossil.
  • To discover the 5 types of fossils.

Procedure:

  • Discuss what a fossil is and how a dinosaur became a fossil.
  • Name the 5 types of fossils.
  • Divide the class into 5 groups, and have each group make 1 type of fossil using a flour, salt and water mixture.
  • Make step books describing each step of how a dinosaur became a fossil.

Materials/Resources:

(2) Objectives:

  • To discover what jobs are involved in digging up fossils.
  • To discover what is involved with each job.

Procedure:

  • Read Digging Up Fossils to the class.
  • Discuss the different jobs and what is involved to do them.
  • Have students choose a job and explain why they want to do that job.
  • Make a graph showing the number of students who chose each job.

Materials/Resources:

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Paleontology

(1) Objectives:

  • To discover what paleontology is.
  • To discover what a paleontology does.
  • To discover how a paleontologist digs up fossils.
  • To discover what tools a paleontologist uses to dig up fossils.

Procedure:

  • Show video on how a paleontologist digs up fossils.
  • Discuss who a paleontologist is and how he/she digs up fossils.
  • Have students individually extract chocolate chips (the fossils) out of a cookie (the rock) using only a toothpick and a paintbrush.

Materials/Resources:

  • Video A Magical Field Trip to the Dinosaur Museum.

(2) Objectives:

  • To discover how dinosaur bones fit together.
  • To discover how a paleontologist knows how to put dinosaur bones together.

Procedure:

  • Show video that discusses putting dinosaur skeletons together.
  • Students draw the shape of any dinosaur on two pieces of paper (a regular white sheet and a heavy white sheet).
  • On regular white sheet, students make the skin of dinosaur using textures underneath (sandpaper, wall, etc.).
  • On heavy white sheet, students make a dinosaur skeleton using chicken bones.
  • Staple the skin on top of the bones so it can flip up to view the bones.

Materials/Resources:

  • Video How Big Were the Dinosaurs.

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Dinosaurs

(1) Objectives:

  • To discover what dinosaur or animal footprints tell us.
  • To discover how large an Apatosaurus’ footprint is.
  • To discover how a paleontologist digs up fossils.
  • To discover what tools a paleontologist uses to dig up fossils.

Procedure:

  • Read poem Something Big Has Been Here to the students.
  • Discuss what the poem means and what footprints tell us about dinosaurs or animals.
  • Divide the student into groups and trace their feet in an Apatosaurus’ footprint to determine how many they can fit inside.
  • Discuss the similarities and differences between the dinosaur footprint and their own footprint.

Materials/Resources:

(2) Objectives:

  • To discover the characteristics of a meat-eating dinosaur (carnivore).
  • To discover the characteristics of a plant-eating dinosaur (herbivore).
  • To discover how you can tell a meat-eater from a plant-eater by its footprints.

Procedure:

  • Make cards with characteristics of meat-eaters and plant-eaters (one characteristic per card).
  • Give one card to each student and tell them there are two groups and they must figure out what the groups are and where they would belong (according to their card).
  • Once students get into the groups, discuss why each characteristic belongs in it’s group.
  • Show map of dinosaur footprints and discuss what type of dinosaurs they could be.

Materials/Resources:

(3) Objectives:

  • To discover how much an Apatosaurus weighs.
  • To discover how much an Apatosaurus weighs compared to the rest of the class.

Procedure:

  • Find the weight of an Apatosaurus.
  • Weigh each student and add up weights to find the total class weight.
  • Compare the two weights, figure out how many classes it would take to weigh the same as an Apatosaurus.

Materials/Resources:

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