How Big Were the Dinosaurs? A lesson YOU can use!

Today the Gandara Bug Academy found out!
We took a quick trip to our local park where there was PLENTY of room!
With just a few minutes of prep, and a LOT of ribbon or string, you too can explore how big the Dinosaurs were!
You need Ribbon or String that measures:
2 feet (Compsognathus)
30 feet (Triceratops)
35 feet (Allosaurus)
40 Feet (Tyrannosaurus Rex)
85 feet (Diplodocus)
150 feet (Seismosaurus)
I measured out each length, sometimes attaching two or three different colors together when needed. Then I wound it up and put it in a zip top bag labled with the name of the dinosaur and the number of feet of ribbon. The 180 feet for the seismosaurus ended up very, very tangled – so I recommend wrapping it around a spool or paper towel holder to avoid the tangles. 180 feet is a REALLY BIG DINOSAUR!

I also went to this Awesome Website and printed pictures of each of the dinosaurs so the bugs had something to visualize – kinda putting a face with a name!
Here’s what we did… I started off with the story, How Big Were the Dinosaurs by Bernard Most.
You can find it at your local library, or through Amazon (the link is the book title)… if you have another favorite book on dinosaur size – use that one! I just think tying lessons to literature make both the lesson and the book more meaningful – so you will see LOTS of lessons based on books this year!
Then we drove over to the local park and let the fun begin.
The kids pulled out the bags of string and we looked at the pictures of the dinosaur. Then One person stood and held one end of the string while the others ran off as far as the string would go!

Lauren runs off to see how big the Triceratops is, while Megan holds the other end!

Lauren arrives at the end of her rope ( ha ha!)

Douglas shows us the 2 foot Compsognathus!

And below you can see Megan and Douglas wayyyyy off in the distance showing us how big the Diplodocus was (85feet) -about 20 feet LONGER than Daddy’s truck!

Now – as I mentioned above – We were unable to see just how big the Seismosaurus was due to severe tangling issues – but I’ll re-wrap the ribbon and we’ll head back to the park on our next day out! Trust me this Dino was HUGE!

When we got home We compared a Tyrannosaurus’ footprint to our footprint. All you need for this activity is some sidewalk chalk and a ruler!

First I drew an outline of the Tyrant Lizard King’s footprint on the sidewalk. (hint: Tyrant Lizard = the T rex, and his footprint was 28 inches. Do a Google Search and you’ll see some samples on which to base your drawing. )

Next all three bugs stepped into the outline one at a time.

Then I used a different color chalk and traced around each bug’s foot.
The bugs used rulers to measure their footprint – then we went inside to record the results on a worksheet. It was a very simple basic sheet:
The Footprint of A Tyrannosaurus is 28 inches long. My footprint is _______ inches long. The T- Rex’s Foot is ____ inches longer than my foot.
I hope you have as much fun with this lesson as we did! Check back for more Adventures in Homeschooling with the GBA! (Gandara Bug Academy)

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  1. What a great day for the bugs!! The Indianapolis Children\’s Museum has a Dinosphere…I think you should take a field trip there! LOL But if you ever need pictures…I\’ve got your hook up!!

  2. Wow – you are so meant to be a teacher! Great idea. I took my bug to the Jurupa Mountains Cultural Center and we went on the Rock Walk – Saturday mornings at 9 and we got to collect 12 rocks each ($7) They talk about dinosaurs on the walk. Very homey place run by complete volunteers, our tour guide was probably 12 years old!

  3. Very visual lesson, cute!! how did you get that little blurb on your photo?

  4. Has school been on hiatus?? I wanna learn some more LOL

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