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Dinosaurs: Activities and Lesson Plans

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Educator Professional Learning Explore the Family Tree of Birds Scientists on many parts of the globe are working to decipher the family tree of animals at the transition from non-avian dinosaurs... Educator Materials What Teeth Tell Us Are those sharp, pointy dinosaur teeth all the better to eat you with? Or are they designed for tough vegetation? Examine dinosaur... Educator Materials What is a Dinosaur It's not what they ate or when they lived that distinguishes dinosaurs from other reptiles. It's the hole in their hip socket. Educator Materials What Makes a Dinosaur a Dinosaur Can you walk like a dinosaur? Hint: The movement is not like lizards, crocodiles, and other reptiles; instead, it's more like birds.... Educator Materials Make Your Own Liaoning Diorama Re-create the 130-million-year-old forest in what is now China to understand why this fossil site is of such vast scientific importance. Educator Materials Understanding Cladistics Explore the method scientists use to determine evolutionary relationships by creating a coin cladogram. Then try your hand at classifying... Educator Materials Understanding Geologic Time How long have humans been on Earth compared to the length of time dinosaurs roamed the planet? Gain a new understanding of time by... Educator Materials Dinosaur Illustrations Ankylosaurus, Barosaurus, Coelophysis—add to your dinosaur vocabulary with these 12 illustrations. Soon you'll be able to spot a... Educator Materials Sedimentary Layers Puzzle Try your hand at reconstructing geologic history with this fossil-filled puzzle. Educator Materials Flesh Out a Fossil Discover how artists bring dinosaur skeletons to life with skin, feathers, and other features. Then try to create your own lifelike... Educator Materials Functions of Feathers In this classroom activity, students will learn about the different types of feathers and their functions. Educator Materials Smaller Than You Think Not all dinosaurs were huge creatures that shook the Earth when they walked. Put two dinosaurs in perspective with this drawing activity. Educator Materials Relative Speed of Dinosaurs Put your scientific skills to the test to see if you can figure out tell by their footprints if dinosaurs were walking, trotting,... Educator Materials Plate Tectonics Puzzle Piece together what Earth may have looked like approximately when there was a single supercontinent, Pangaea. Educator Materials Be a Sleuth: How Dinosaurs Behaved Like today's crime-scene investigators, paleontologists study clues left behind. See firsthand what trackways—fossilized footprints—can... Educator Materials Create a Timeline of Earth Did you know Stegosaurus became extinct 66 million years before T. rex walked the Earth? Explore the planet's diverse eras and periods. Educator Materials Dinosaur Name Game for Students In this activity, students will use a key of Greek and Latin root words to decipher dinosaur names. Then—using their imagination—create... Educator Materials Dinosaur Teeth When it comes to dinosaurs, teeth are the windows to these prehistoric reptiles' stomachs—and the different foods that filled them.... Educator Materials Dinosaur Timeline When you've been alive for less than a decade, how in the world do you grasp geologic time? Start with a 100-inch-long roll of adding... Educator Materials Be a Trackway Detective What can you tell from looking at a fossil record of dinosaur footprints? Everything from which dinosaur was there first to what... Educator Materials Bigger Than You Think Not all dinosaurs were enormous like the 84-foot-long, 30-ton Apatosaurus. TheCompsognathus, for example, approximated an eight-pound... Educator Materials What is a Fossil? The most common fossils are bones and teeth, but not all fossils are body parts. Explore the wide-ranging evidence of ancient life... Educator Materials How Big Were Dinosaurs? How many times would your footprint fit into that of a large dinosaur? Could all of your classmate's feet fill up the small crater?... Educator Materials Grouping Dinosaurs Dinosaurs all belong to the same group, but within that group there are many subsets—meat-eating dinosaurs, four-legged dinosaurs,... Educator Materials Dinosaur Names Activity Some dinosaur names are short, while others are lengthy tongue twisters. But all are infused with meaning. Examine the linguistic... Article Meet the Paleontologists: Jin Meng Jin Meng studies the morphology, systematics, and evolution of mammals, particularly early mammals. Unlike some paleontologists who... Educator Materials Observe a Dinosaur Ever wish you could watch a dinosaur in action? Investigate modern birds for an insightful look at how ancient dinosaurs moved and...