Digging Up Dinosaur Bones
Have you ever wondered about dinosaurs? Perhaps you wondered exactly how big an
apatasaurus was, or maybe you thought about what Tyrannasaurus Rex really ate.
There are many unsolved mysteries about dinosaurs because people were not around
to observe them. With every new dinosaur dig, scientists learn more about dinosaurs
and the way they lived here on Earth.
You must discover everything you can about the dinosaur that your group has been
given. I will give you directions to follow, so that you know what to do. Each group will
have 4 jobs:
1. One person will be the paleontologist, who will explain how to do his or her job, and
tell about digging for fossils.
2. One person will be the reporter, who tells the other members in the group what the
paleontologist has found.
3. One person will be the museum director, who shares important pictures and stories
that could be used in a museum.
4. One person will be the science teacher, who teaches the rest of our class what your
group has learned about your dinosaur.
Your team is responsible for a poster presentation explaining what you have discovered
on your “dinosaur dig.” Each person on your team should help to create the poster, and
each person is responsible for a writing assignment.
1. The paleontologist will tell about what scientists have discovered about your
dinosaur, and write a one page (3 paragraph) journal entry about a dig.
2. The reporter will summarize the paleontologist’s comments, and write a one page (3
paragraph) newspaper article.
3. The museum director will describe artifacts that would be needed for a good dinosaur
museum, and write a one page (3 paragraph) brochure adverstising the museum’s
4. The science teacher will tell what 2nd grader’s need to know about this dinosaur, and
write a one page (3 paragraph) textbook chapter for 2nd graders.
For your dinosaur research, you will need:
* 3 x 5 cards (for jotting down notes from Websites and books)
* lined paper
* poster board (provided for you)
* markers, paints, and any other creative materials (for your poster)
How To Do Your Research
Each person on your dinosaur team will read 3 dinosaur books, to give you some
background knowledge on your subject. They are very fun, interesting books, so enjoy
Step #1: As a team, rotate and read these 3 dinosaur books on the required book list.
Read at least these 3 books, but also check our classroom library for more dinosaur
Digging Up Dinosaurs by Aliki
Dinosaur Story by Joanna Cole
Dinosaurs by Gail Gibbons
Step #2: Using only the Websites I have linked for you, the paleontologist and the
reporter will explore Websites about fossils, paleontology, and important facts about
your group’s dinosaur. Don’t forget to take notes on your 3 x 5 cards, so that you can
compose your report later. Click on these links to take your notes.
visit a dinosaur dig
learn more about fossils
Step #3: Using only the Websites I have linked for you, the museum director and
science teacher will explore Websites to learn what materials would be good for a
museum, and what 2nd graders will want to know about your dinosaur. Remember, you
will make the decisions about what museum visitors and 2nd graders will be learning, so
make sure your information is important. Don’t forget to take notes on your 3 x 5 cards,
so that you can write your museum brochure or textbook chapter later. Click on these
links to take your notes.
dinosaur museum exhibit
questions and answers about dinosaurs
Step #4: As a team, come back together after everyone has gathered information (from
the dinosaur books and from the dinosaur Websites). You should each have about ten
(maybe a little more, maybe a little less) 3 x 5 cards when you meet with your team.
Step #5: Talk, talk, and more talk! Each person on your dinosaur team should share
what he or she has learned, simply by telling the other people in the group. Remember
your jobs, and stick to your area of specialty. The paleontologist tells about dinosaur
digs and fossils, the reporter tells about what the paleontologist found on “the dig,” the
museum director explains what artifacts would be good for an exhibit, and the science
teacher explains what most 2nd graders need to know about dinosaurs from a textbook.
Step #6: After you share information, now begin your writing assignments, (see “Your
Project” directions above). You may talk about your writing assignment with other
members of your group, but remember to stick to the assignment for your specific job.
Here’s what I will expect to see in your writing:
* 3 paragraphs (about one page total)
* complete sentences
* correct capitals and periods
Step #7: As a team, design a poster that will show our class the most important facts,
details, and pictures or drawings of your dinosaur.
Step #8: Give a short presentation about your team’s dinosaur. Each person should talk
a few minutes about what you have learned, from the point of view of your special job.
Wow, you have learned a lot by using 3 main resources for your research: 1) your group
members, 2) our dinosaur books, and 3) the website information and pictures. In your
journal, I would like you to write about what you think is the most important thing that
you learned on our WebQuest. Also include which way of learning you liked the best:
did you like using websites? what about working in a dinosaur team? what worked best
for you? Write at least one page about this experience.
If you want to learn even more about dinosaurs, check out these links, after you have
completed all the assignments:
Dino- Russ’s Lair
Prem’s Fossil Gallery
Dinosaurs from Honolulu, Hawaii