Sunday, June 6, 2010

Online Museums, Dinosaur Exhibits, Activities, & Teacher Guides

Museums and Exhibits

a. American Museum of Natural History
Visit Fossil Halls. See the largest freestanding Barosaurus skeleton. Timelines is a special online computer generated graphical tour which allows students to find out more about the time periods in which dinosaurs lived.

b. The Field Museum, Chicago, IL, Dinosaur Exhibit, "Life Over Time"

Online Teacher Guides available

c. University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, CA

d. Dinosphere

General Activities

1. Provide students with large paper bags. Have them create a paper bag puppet to represent their favorite dinosaur. Next, have students create skits with the puppet (e. g. a fight between a meat eater and a plant eater).
2. Tell students to use the names of dinosaurs to create new names for foods (e. g. fabrosaurus french fries, megalosaurus milkshakes, stegosaurus spaghetti). Then have them write a menu for lunch using these "new foods". Allow time for students to share menus. Plan a Dinosaur lunch for the entire class. Have students sign-up to bring some of the "new foods" from home.
3. Scientists have proposed several reasons for the dinosaurs' disappearance (the earth became too cold, there wasn't enough food, etc.). Have students research these reasons and then divide them into groups, each group supporting one of the reasons. Provide time for them to discuss and defend their positions.
4. Using a variety of sources, list some dinosaurs and their lengths on the chalkboard. To help students understand how long the different dinosaurs were, measure their exact lengths with a ball of yarn (in which you have previously tied knots every 5 feet). Count by fives as the yarn is unrolled. Use a meter stick to convert these lengths to meters.
5. Provide students with plastic dinosaur figures, clay, dinosaur model sets, and so on. As a class, create a display or diorama that depicts a prehistoric time when dinosaurs roamed the world. Use real greenery or plastic/silk. A mirror makes a great lake. Don't forget the volcano in the background!

Literature-Specific Activities
If the Dinosaurs Came Back by Bernard Most
1. Select one of the dinosaurs that are illustrated and named on the last page of the book and draw its shape on a sheet of construction paper. Cut out the dinosaur and, using it as a pattern, make pages and construction paper covers for student dinosaur books. Allow students to use these materials to write their own stories about "if dinosaurs came back." Provide time for the students to share their stories.
2. Tell students to use the last page of the book (where all the dinosaurs are pictured as a guide and go back through the story to see how many dinosaurs they can recognize and name.
3. Ask students to select one of the dinosaurs in the story and write a letter to it saying why they would like it to come back or whey they wouldn't.
4. Tell students to pretend it is possible to bring back the dinosaurs; first, however, they must convince their community that it is a good idea. Divide the students into pairs and ask them to create a full-page newspaper advertisement that will convince the community. Display these advertisements.

Related Literature
Andrews, Roy Chapman. All About Dinosaurs, illustrated by Thomas W. Voter. Random House, 1953.
Branley, Franklin M. Dinosaurs, Asteroids, and Superstars: Why the Dinosaurs Disappeared. Illustrated by Jean Sallinger. Thomas Y. Crowel, 1982.
Carrick, Carol. What happened to Patrick's Dinosaur. Clarion, 1986. Carroll, Susan. How Big Is a Brachiosaurus? Platt & Monk, 1986.
Parish, Peggy. Dinosaur Time. Illustrated by Arnold Lobel. Harper & Row, 1974.
Quinn, Kayne, and Jan Hutchings. Science Adventures: Dinosaurs. Price/Stern/Sloan, 1987.
Rowe, Erna. Giant Dinosaurs. Illustrated by Merle Smith. Scholastic, 1973.

Kathy Stemke's websites:
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Karen Lange said...

Great info, thank you! :)

NancyCL said...

This is wonderful information Kathy. Thanks for sharing!