- Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School
- Subject Area: Science
Students will visit several on-line museums with dinosaur exhibits. While at the sites students will gather information about dinosaurs' habitats and survival needs and ways in which dinosaurs met these needs. This information will serve as the basis for a discussion of adaptation. In this discussion a comparison will be made between adaptation of species including humans.
- Learn about the evolutionary concept of adaptation.
- Understand the ways in which adaptation applies to humans.
- Learn about dinosaurs and their habitats.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or 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, networking or 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).
Unit Lesson Plans
- Lesson One: Visiting Museums. Students will visit museums and gather information about dinosaur habitats, survival needs, and how they met these needs.
- Lesson Two: Discussion of Adaptation. Students will synthesize the information they gathered at the museum to discuss ways in which dinosaurs adapted to their environments. Students will also apply the same logic to an analysis of human habitat, survival needs, and need fulfillment to understand how people have adapted to their environment.
Relation to Standards
We have drawn on science standards created by the National Research Center and the State of Michigan. These standards provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus science in their classrooms.
One Computer versus Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with an Internet connection. To accommodate classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet connections, students can work in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:
- If you have the technology, you may hook-up the computer to a TV monitor or LCD projector. This will allow the whole class to see sites in the preliminary stages when students are exploring sites created by other children.
- You may choose to have students rotate through computer with Internet access in groups.
- You may also download files from the Internet and save them to a disk. Then transfer Netscape [http://home.netscape.com] onto your other computers. Now you can transfer the files you down-loaded and saved to a disk to the other non-internet computers to view with Netscape. This will not allow students to explore the pages with hyper-links, but they will be able to access and view the information by opening each file with Netscape.