Dinosaur Activities and Reconstructed Murals

Examples of dinosaur activities suggested in the Dinosaur Discovery Kits’ curriculum and fact sheet.

Grid off an area (preferably outside) 4ft. x 4ft. and within hide one skeleton under leaves, rocks and branches. Excavate the site with a group of 2-4 children. Depending upon their ages have younger children uncover and collect the pieces. Have the older children measure each piece’s location within the grid and record on graph paper. Before removing, number each piece using sticky notes.

 

Upon assembling the Dinosaur Discovery skeletons, many observations about the animals can be made. Have the children compare the following when using two or more skeletons.

Teeth - Compare teeth of all 4 as to whether an herbivore (Protoceratops), a carnivore (Tyrannosaurus rex, Ichthyosaurus) or omnivore (Hypsilophodon).

Bone Structure - Using Hypsilophodon and Protoceratops compare bone thickness and flexibility of tails (horizontal bony rods in tail indicate rigidity).

Hip Structure - Using Hypsilophodon and T rex compare pelvic area and determine what order to place each in (Saurischian or Ornithischian).

Stance - Determine which animals are bipedal (Hypsilophodon, T rex), quadrupedal (Protoceratops) or finned (Ichthyosaurus).

Speed - Using Hypsilophodon and Protoceratops determine which would have been the faster runner by observing bone structure, stance and comparing shin bone to thigh bone and toe bones.

 

The following are one of many observations that can be made with each skeleton.

Hypsilophodon - Observe the bony rods along the back and tail which stiffen the spine and enable the tail to be used as a counterweight. The horizontal stance allows for better aerodynamics when running.

Protoceratops - Compare the purpose of head frill with that of an antelope’s antlers. Were they for display of social dominance and attraction to the opposite sex?

Tyrannosaurus rex - Since the skeleton is 1/4 scale, each bone piece can be measured and then increased by 4 times. The new skeleton will then be a 42’ life-size dinosaur.

Ichthyosaurus - Compare this marine reptile with present day ocean dwellers and determine what is missing on the back. Although it did have a dorsal fin, because this part was made of cartilage it was not fossilized.