They may have disappeared over 60 million years ago, however the age of the dinosaurs remain some of the most beloved topics of study in any educational setting. June 1st is International Dinosaur day. Dinosaurs roamed the earth at a time when the land was all one, the super continent Pangaea. This is a fascinating topic itself.
How to study the Age of Dinosaurs
I kike to begin my study with a fun lesson on Dinosaur size!
It takes just a quick minute to prep. Here is what you need:
-At least 5 different dinosaurs (Classroom teachers, divide your class appropriately so students work in pairs). You can Google for the information or use the Dinosaur FACT SHEETS Homeschool Holiday has in their handy curriculum! It’s fun to let the kids choose their favorite dinosaur.
– Length in feet for each of the dinosaurs (this can be found on the fact sheets.) The more variety the better!
– Ball of string, cut into the lengths of each of the dinosaurs chosen, then placed into a zip top bag and labeled. Be careful not to tangle the string. Ribbon works well also.
– Large open space such as a park, soccer field, or playground.
Here is what you do:
Children work in pairs. One learner holds the string at one end, and the other takes the other end as far as it will stretch. – That’s how big the dinosaur was!
Where Dinosaurs Fossils are Found
Another great lesson relating to the age of the dinosaurs is to explore where many dinosaur fossils are found. As you read through the Fact Sheets, learners will notice it mentions fossils of the same dinosaur are found in The United States and Egypt for example. How is this possible when looking at a globe, these two countries are on separate continents. Kids are amazed by this. I don’t believe any dinosaur discussion is complete without a discussion on Pangaea.
This video by kids, for kids does a great job of talking about Pangea!
Every depiction of a dinosaur is just that, a depiction. No one knows what color they were. But the fossils scientists have found and studied have told us amazing things!
We know their size, what they ate, during which time period they lived and even if they were good mothers!
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the dinosaurs is their size. It’s hard to TRULY get a feel for how big the dinosaurs were without some tangible activity. Using the ribbon and a big field is one thing, but standing under a dinosaur replica is another! If you are blessed with a Natural History Museum that houses a dinosaur display, by all means, pay them a visit. It’s fun to compare your size to their size “in real life”.
Explore the age of the Dinosaurs at home!
An easy activity you can do at home is to compare the size of your feet to those of the popular Tyrannosaurus Rex.
All you need for this activity is some sidewalk chalk. a ruler and our FREE printable.
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. You can use the sample outline on the worksheet, or you can search some on your own.
Next I had my children step into the outline one at a time.
Then we went inside to record the results on our worksheet. (Available no strings attached in the DOWNLOAD HERE) It is 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.
Take your Dinosaur Studies Further!
If you would like to take your dinosaur studies a bit further – Happy Hive has just what you need. This curriculum is packed with Facts! 20 printable dinosaur fact sheets, a book that both young and older learners can sink their carnivorous teeth into creating and a mural for you to hang. As you learn about each dinosaur (you chose the pace) cut out the dinosaur and attach it to the mural free style, or sort it according to the time period. This is engaging and fun for any time of the year.
Our fascination with these ancient creatures knows no limits. I have studied dinosaurs several times myself over the years and each time I am blessed with something new and wonderful. This set of curriculum will save you time researching WHICH dinosaurs to use in your study – you can always add more based on your learners and their interests. Creating the mural is a favorite activity with each group I use it! I hope your group finds as much enjoyment!
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