SUBJECT: Archaeology
TOPIC: Dinosaurs
GRADE LEVEL: Early Elementary
CREATORS: Lisa Campbell, Christina DeLong, Josephine Gaglio, Jennifer Morris, Andrea Smith
 
 


 

Dinosaur Discovery

Unit Objectives

Students participating in this unit study should have basic reading and writing skills.

Students will be introduced to and encouraged to use library reference books on dinosaurs. The use of library reference material is a skill that will b directly taught to the students.

The goals or learning objectives of Dinosaur Discovery include:


 

Unit Rationale

We selected this topic due to overwhelming student interest and because dinosaurs have recently been made an elementary curriculum requirement in some Michigan school districts. Dinosaur provide an excellent end of the year unit when student interest is often strained.


 

Unit Integration of Five Senses

The five human senses will be integrated into the unit with the following lessons and activites.
Touch: Fossil finds in trays of sand
Hearing: Wee Sing Dinosaur Sing-Along, Dinosaur counting chant
Taste: Explore the plant eating dinosaur vs. The meat eating dinosaur
Smell: Review the things we smell today that dinosaurs were not exposed to
Sight: Visit and view the dinosaur exhibit at Dominos Farm

 


 

Schedule of Events for Dinosaurs Unit

Week One
Introduction to Dinosaur Discover
Names of dinosaurs
Habitats of dinosaurs
Body structures and characteristics of dinosaurs
Differences in body structures and characteristics of dinosaurs
Lifestyles of dinosaurs - how we believe they lived
Week Two
Discovery of fossils
What is a Paleontologist?
How Paleontologists remove dinosaur fossils from a site
How Paleontologists package and assemble dinosaur bones
Museum displays
Field Trip
Week Three
What the earth was like during the reign of dinosaurs
How the earth has changed since the reign of dinosaurs
Culminating activity
Activites to be conducted everyday of unit
Review dinosaur flash cards - new dinosaur highlighted each day
Record responses in personal Dinosaur Fact Books
Calendar count down to field trip

 

 

Dinosaur Discovery Bulletin Board

We chose to create an interactive bulletin board to support the Dinosaur Discovery unit. The bulletin board is simple to create and requires minimal supplies. The bulletin board begins with only the outline of a dinosaur (preferably a long neck dinosaur). The children will then take turns speculating and creating the interior skeletal structure of the dinosaur (rotation can be determined by child of the day, royalty, alphabetically, etc.). The children will create this structure by gluing toothpicks, popsicle sticks or tongue depressors onto the bulletin board. The students can then compare their progress by researching the bone structure in their reference and reading material. The children will have an opportunity to compare their work with that of paleontologists during the field trip.

In addition to the bulletin board, a majority of student work will be displayed in the classroom.


 
 
 

 

Outline of Assessment Components


 

 
STRANDS
Strand 1 Historical Perspective: Students use knowledge of the past to construct meaningful understanding of our diverse cultural heritage and to inform their civic judgments. 
1.1 Time and chronology
1.2 Comprehending the past
1.3 Analyzing and interpreting the past
1.4 Judging decisions from the past
Strand 2 Geographic Perspective: Students will use knowledge of spatial patterns on earth to understand processes that shape human environments and to make decisions about society.
2.2 Human/environment interaction
2.3 Location, movement, and connections
2.4 Regions, patterns, and processes
BENCHMARKS
1.1.2 use weeks, months, and years as intervals of time 
1.1.3 distinguish among the past, present, and future 
1.1.4 place events of their lives and the lives of others in chronological order 
1.2.1 identify who was involved, what happened, and where it happened 
1.2.2 describe the past through the eyes and experiences of those who were there as revealed through their records 
1.3.2 differentiate between historical facts and historical representations 
1.3.3 explain why accounts of the same event differ 
2.1.2 describe the natural characteristics of places and explain some basic causes for those characteristics 
2.2.2 describe the ways in which their environment has been changed by people, and the ways their lives are affected by the environment 
2.3.1 identify locations of significance in their immediate environment and explain the reasons for their location 
2.4.3 describe changes in the region over time as well as presently 

 

Lesson Plan Day 1: Introduction to Dinosaurs

Objectives

To share with students an introductory picture book on dinosaurs. To conduct a KWL discussion with the students I order to determine the direction/depth of the unit. To prepare a specific dinosaur journal for students to record new dinosaur facts.


 

Content

An introduction to dinosaurs. The picture book includes time of existence, names and pronunciations, sizes, and lifestyle of various dinosaurs.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

Teacher Procedure

  1. Assemble students on the carpet area.
  2. Advise the children that we are about to begin a unit study on dinosaurs. Explain that we will learn all types of information - such as time of existence, names/pronunciation, sizes, skeletal structure, and lifestyles of various dinosaurs.
  3. Ask the children to share what they already know about dinosaurs. Record their responses on a large KWL chart.
  4. Read to the students the story/picture book titled Dinosaur Days by Joyce Milton.
  5. Ask the students to share what information form the book was new to them. Ask them to share what they thought was interesting. Review the picture cards to see if new information is applied. Ask compare and contrasting questions regarding the differences among the dinosaurs.
  6. Explain to the students that our unit is going to teach us a lot of information about various dinosaurs and that keeping track of all the information is important. In order to record all of our discoveries, we will make a special journal for dinosaur facts. Provide the students with a model.
  7. Have the students return to their work stations.
  8. Pass out supplies for the dinosaur journals.
  9. Assist the students in assembling their journals.
  10. As a class decide upon one new fact that we should record in our journals. Suggest that we start as our story did, stating that dinosaurs lived a very long time ago.
Learner Procedure
  1. Share information with the class as to what you already know about dinosaurs.
  2. Demonstrate good listening and manners while other students are sharing.
  3. Listen attentively to the dinosaur story.
  4. Work diligently to complete the assembly of personal dinosaur journal.

 

Evaluation

Allow a substantial amount of time for students to share dinosaur facts. If a student provides misleading or incorrect information, suggest that we review to find out if the fact is accurate. 


 

Dinosaur Characteristics Lesson Plan

Objective

Students will recognize that dinosaurs were not all alike. Dinosaurs can be distinguished from one another in several ways: number of legs, size, skeletal structure and by their diet.


 

Content

Some dinosaurs were meat eaters.
Some dinosaurs were plant eaters.
Meat eaters had pointed teeth, plant eaters had flat teeth.
 


 

Materials


 

Anticipatory Set

Read big book pages 18-25 on carpet as a class.


 

Procedure

Teacher Procedure

  1. Review with students the difference in animals today (pigs to giraffe - monkey to cow, etc.)
  2. Ask the students how they eat an ice cream cone.
  3. Ask the students how they eat a hot dog.
  4. Ask them to compare the differences. Would you like to only be able to like a hot dog? What if ice cream was hard like a hot dog - would it taste as good?
  5. Explain to the students that we will be making models of the mouths of meat eating dinosaurs and plant eating dinosaurs.
  6. Provide the students with pattern sheet of the dinosaur heads. Ask them to trace, cut and assemble the heads from colored paper. Then provide them with a pattern sheet of teeth. Have the students cut out the teeth and glue them into the mouths of the dinosaurs.
  7. Ask them to identify the meat eater and the plant eater.
  8. Have the students record this new dinosaur fact in their personal dinosaur journal.
Learner Procedure
  1. Respond and participate in the class discussion.
  2. Demonstrate good listening and manners while other students are sharing.

 

Evaluation

Provide the students with a sample of the completed assignment. A follow up lesson would be to look up whether the class's favorite dinosaurs were plant or meat eaters. We could make a classroom chart to classify all of the dinosaurs we have discussed. 


 

Dinosaur Discovery Field Trip

Destination: Domino's Farms
Address: 24 Franklin Lloyd Wright Dr
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Group Tours Office
Telephone: (313) 930-5032
Hours/Days: Monday - Friday 9 to 4
Saturday 10 to 4
Cost: Depends upon exhibit. Group discounts available.
Transportation Fees required.
Food: Bring your own food
Length of Tour: Varies with tour selection
Comments: Over one hundred dinosaur exhibits are currently on display.


 

Field Trip Lesson Plan

Objective

Students will record facts obtained from the 100+ dinosaur exhibits at Domino's Farms in Ann Arbor, MI.


 

Content

To record the height, length, and weight of dinosaurs.


 

Materials


 

Anticipatory Set

The students will be making dinosaur trading cards. Just like sport figure trading cards, the dinosaur trading cards will contain statistics. The cards will be completed in class, with the exception of the 3 facts (height, length, and weight) that will be researched and recorded at the field trip site. Students will also be provided with one blank card that they can create at the site that represents what display they found to be the most interesting (should relate to a dinosaur).


 

Procedure

Teacher Procedure

  1. Prior to the field trip students will be provided with five 3x5 index cards. The students will record a dinosaur name on the top of the card and list the statistics that they are looking for (h,l, and w) leaving a blank space for this information to be added. The students will decorate the front of the trading cards by coloring photocopies of the matching dinosaurs and pasting them to the front of the cards.
  2. The chaperones will be provided with the dinosaur trading cards and pencils. He/she will distribute the cards when the children come to an exhibit that is included in their card set. The chaperone will collect the cards and hold them until the next exhibit. Domino's Farms currently has over one hundred dinosaur exhibits on display - the students are only asked to record the statistics for 5 specific dinosaurs.
  3. The students will complete the cards by reading the exhibit information plaques on display with each dinosaur.
Learner Procedure
  1. Complete the classroom assignment of designing the dinosaur trading cards.
  2. Pay close attention to the information plaques that are on display in front of each exhibit. Ask the chaperone for your set of cards if you have found a match.
  3. Return the completed trading card and pencil to the chaperone.
  4. Decide as a group what exhibit should be the subject of the blank trading card.
  5. Review the personal dinosaur journal for accuracy.

 

Evaluation

Provide chaperones with a listing of the dinosaurs that are included in the trading card set. Have the students turn in the trading cards to the instructor so that they can be reviewed in class the following day. The students can trade cards with each other of keep their own set. The students should all be provided with an opportunity to share what they chose as the subject of their blank trading card.


 

Lesson Plan: How the World Has Changed Since the Dinosaurs

Objective

Students will create an accurate visual depiction of dinosaurs and the environment in which they lived.


 

Content

There were no humans, there was land and water, dinosaurs eat plants and meat, dinosaurs were different sizes.


 

Materials


 

Anticipatory Set

Display sketches of various dinosaurs in their natural environment.


 

Procedure

Teacher Procedure

  1. Explain to students that they are responsible for creating a diorama of a dinosaur living in it's natural environment.
  2. Inform the students that this is a project that they should complete with their parents or guardian.
  3. Show the students a sample diorama - advise the children that bigger shoe boxes will make their work easier and that they can use whatever types of materials they can find at home.
  4. Provde students with a take home notice to parents advising parents to have the children describe to them what the world of a dinosaur was like and how this representation should appear. Parents can assist, but the work should be that of the student.
Learner Procedure
  1. Take home the homework notice for the parent or guardian.
  2. Gather materials to create a diorama and try to incorporate what has been discussed and taught in school into the visual representation/diorama.
  3. Bring the completed diorama to school and be prepared to show and explain to the class what and why items were included in the diorama.

 

Evaluation

When the students return to school with their dioramas, have them show the class and explain why they have included what they did - determine by their responses if they have gathered a comprehensive understanding of dinosaurs and how they lived. 


 

Lesson Plan: Culminating Experience

Objective

Students will reflect upon and evaluate the information that has been presented during the unit.


 

Content

Dinosaurs lived long ago.
Dinosaurs were different sizes.
Dinosaurs eat either plants or meat.
Dinosaurs live on land and in water.
Humans did not live when dinosaurs lived.
Paleontologists student dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs are now extinct.
 


 

Materials


 

Anticipatory Set

have the students share their favorite fact from their personal journal or from their dinosaur trading cards.


 

Procedure

Teacher Procedure

  1. Read to the students the information they provided in the original introductory activity (KWL chart).
  2. Compare the new information and ask students to share what they thought previously and what they now know. Ask them to share how and why their ideas changed.
  3. Record on a classroom chart what we know about dinosaurs for display.
Learner Procedure
  1. Share facts from personal dinosaur journal.
  2. Share facts from dinosaur trading cards.
  3. Offer thoughts on what I thought before the lesson and what I now know to be true about dinosaurs.
  4. Demonstrate good listening and manners while other students are sharing.
  5. Share what additional information I would like to know about dinosaurs.

 

Evaluation

Based upon the student responses determine if the students have learned all that they originally stated they hoped to learn. Determine if students have offered new information about dinosaurs. Determine if they are continuing to hold on to any common misconceptions about dinosaurs or the conditions under which they lived.
 


 

Bibliography

More Amazing Dinosaurs, Cartwright, J. Watermill Press, 1988

I can read about Dinosaurs, Howard, J. Troll Associates, 1972

Dinosaur Bones, Aliki, Harper Trophy, 1988

Bones, Bones, Bones, Baron, B. Trumpet Club, 1990

Dinosaur Days, Milton, J. Random House, 1985

A book to bein on Dinosaurs, Holsaert, E., American Book 1959

Dinosaurs, Watson, J. Golden Press, 1990

The incredible Dinosaurs, Gelman, R., Random House, 1980

Dinosaur Babies, Penner, L. Random House, 1991

Dinosaurs, Douglas, C. Elsevier-Dutton Publishing, 1990

In the time of Dinosaurs, Wise, W., Scholastic, 1963

Extended Reading List - Fictional Sources

The Dinosaur who lived in my backyard, Hennessy, B.,Puffin Books, 1988

Daniel's Dinosaurs, Carmine, M., Scholastic Books, 1990

Danny and the Dinosaur, Hoff, S., Harper and Row, 1958

If the Dinosaurs came back, Most, B., Trumpet Club, 1978

Too many Dinosaurs, Barner, B. Rooster Books, 1995

Count:a:saurus, Blumenthal, N., Scholastic, 1989
 

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