Electronic Field Trips
Dinosaurs and Us Unit
- Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
- Subject Area: Science
visit museums and gather information about dinosaur habitats, survival
how they met these needs.
- Learn about the concept of adaptation.
- Learn about dinosaur habitats and means of survival.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made
assumptions about the hardware
and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit
LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons
activities have a computer
(PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse,
keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software,
dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape,
but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special"
hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above)
and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
Special hardware requirements: None.
Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: A medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem) or
high-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
- Prepare students for visiting the on-line dinosaur exhibits by talking
information they will be responsible for gathering. Spend some time
terms "habitat" and "survival needs" to help students develop an
understanding of what they
mean in the context of evolution. The following is a list of
questions that should help students gather information that addresses
habitat, survival needs, and how they fulfilled these needs:
- What survival needs did dinosaurs have (food, shelter, safety)?
- What types of places did dinosaurs live in (forests, desserts, etc.)?
- What type of food did they eat? How did they get their food?
- What are some of the reasons scientists think that dinosaurs became
- How might the dinosaurs' extinction relate to their habitat and needs?
- Have students visit the on-line dinosaur museums listed in our Internet
Resources (see below).
While students are at the site, they should use the above, or similar
questions, as guides
for gathering information. Be sure to have students make their observations
(they should note which types of dinosaurs ate which things, how they got
food, etc.). Students may also want to draw brief sketches of
characteristics they think
helped dinosaurs survive, such as horns, teeth, tails, etc. Students should
with their sketches why they think these physical features were helpful to
- After they have visited the museums, students gather as a group to
what they found. You may choose to record students' findings on a chart for
in Lesson Two.
The University of California, Berkeley's Museum of Paleontology's room
dinosaurs. Students can learn about some of the myths surrounding
about early dinosaur discoveries, and choose specific dinosaurs to learn more
Descriptions of individual dinosaurs provide information on habitat and diet.
- University of
Museum of Paleontology's T. Rex Exhibit
A whole exhibit dedicated to the king of dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs in Hawaii Exhibit
This exhibit offers images of several dinosaur skeletons along with text
- Royal Tyrrell Museum
This natural history has an excellent virtual museum that you can
though either by using a map or by clicking on a list of rooms. Enter the
virtual museum from their main page by clicking on the virtual museum
Places to stop: "The
Origin of Dinosaurs," "Dinosaur Hall," and "Extinction." The Dinosaur Hall has
descriptions of many different dinosaurs.
Note: This site uses frames,
so be sure to have your students to use the "Back in frame" and "Forward in
since the back button on the Netscape menu will cause you to leave the site
- The World's First
This site has information on the 1858 discover of the first dinosaur
pictures of the skeleton and learn about the discovery's scientific impact.
Back to Dinosaurs and Us Unit Lesson
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