Foot prints in the rocks. Use the transparency and show part of the tracks at a time and have the students discuss observations and inferences.
Animal skulls. Show three animal skulls to the students and ask them to list the properties of the skull. Have them give observations and inferences. (Use one skull from an herbivore, carnivore, omnivore. Have students focus on types and placement of teeth, eye sockets, and other characteristics of the skulls. Ask how does this activity relate to what archeologists do with dinosaur bones.
Heads, necks, and tails. Give the students oak tag folded cut outs of dinosaurs bodies, tail, and necks and heads. Tell them that the legs on the body, and the heads, necks and tails have been made large enough that they can cut them to whatever size they think would be appropriate for the type of dinosaur they have in mind (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore). Have them construct a dinosaur and share it with the rest of the group. Have them discuss how stable the animal would be and what kinds of limitations there would be for the form and function of their chosen body parts.
Bone size. Show the students a leg bone from an animal. Ask them how much weight they think the bone would support? Ask how they would know? Pass out the data sheet and have them find where the leg bone fits on the scale. Ask them what relationships they can find for other animals.
Using a present day reptile to model the size of a prehistoric reptile (dinosaur) from a footprint preserved in time. Download a footprint image from the U.S. National ____ Park. Make a footprint from an iguana use the iguana footprint to and measure the iguana. Relate the proportions of the iguana’s body to the footprint of the extinct dinosaur and use string or yarn to show the size of the prehistoric reptile.
Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©