Bigger Than You Think

Part of the Dinosaurs: Activities and Lesson Plans Curriculum Collection.


Dinosaurs come in all shapes and sizes. The Apatosaurus is one of the largest dinosaurs that ever lived. In life, this 84-foot long dinosaur weighed about 30 tons. But not all dinosaurs were large. Compsognathus, for example, was about the size of a chicken and weighed only about eight pounds.


In this activity, students will create a life-size drawing of a Tyrannosaurus rex head or a life-size drawing of a smaller dinosaur, Protoceratops.


When completed the T. rex head will measure three feet by four feet. The Protoceratops will measure one and a half feet by three and a half feet. Choose one of these dinosaurs based on the available wall space. Enlarge the dinosaur you selected on a photocopier so that each square measures about two inches. Cut out the grid. Have pencils and black magic marker available. You will also need six-inchsquare paper for each student and clear tape. 


1. Call on volunteers to describe the size of some of the dinosaurs they know. Remind students that while many of the dinosaurs were large, there were also many that were small. Tell students they are going to create a life-size drawing of a dinosaur.

2. Give each student a grid square and a square piece of paper. Have students write the grid number on the upper left hand corner of the larger square.

3. Using pencils, have students enlarge the drawing on the grid square to fill the larger square. Tell students the drawing must match the grid square exactly and must go all the way to the edges of the paper.

4. Display a copy of the entire grid. Have students check their own grid square with surrounding squares to make sure that all the connections match. Once connections have been adjusted, have students go over the pencil lines with black magic marker.

5. Have students assemble the grid squares and tape them to the preselected wall to complete the life-size dinosaur drawing. Once the drawing is completed, call on students to give their impressions of the dinosaur they created.