Students work cooperatively to assemble an ancient creature from its bones (made from paper). The fossil bones are of the same size as the real S. Crassiostris discovered in a limestone quarry. Students act as paleontologists to then infer the food this creature might eat, how it moved and its environment.
This is lesson 6 in a series that explores dinosaurs and fossils at the primary level. This lesson includes teacher notes, rubric for scoring, background content, student r page, a writing page, and correlation to A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Dinosaur and Fossil lessons are also included in the book by Karen Ostlund and Sheryl Mercier, Rising to the Challenge of the National Science Education Standards- Primary Grades.
Inferring About Dinosaurs - Scientific Practices
Practice 2: Developing and Using Models:
Students infer the structure of an ancient organism by using paper models of the bones to reconstruct the ancient organism.
Practice 7: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Scientists use reasoning and argumentation to make their case for interpreting data. Their arguments can be based on deductions from premises, on inductive generalizations of existing patterns, or on inferences about the best possible explanation.
Inferring About Dinosaurs - Crosscutting Concepts
Structure and Function
The way in which a living thing is shaped determines many of its functions.
Inferring About Dinosaurs - Core Ideas
The life sciences are partially rooted in earth science, as Earth remains the only example of a biologically active planet, and the fossils found in the geological record of rocks are of interest to both life scientists and earth scientists.
LS4-D: Biodiversity and Humans
What is biodiversity, and how do humans affect it, and how does it affect humans?
Where do different kinds of living things live?
Different kinds of plants and animals live in different places and need different things to live.
Sometimes there are changes in the places where plants and animals live.
What happens when there are changes in the ecological conditions of places where organisms of groups of organisms live?
Some plants and animals no longer exist on Earth (e.g., dinosaurs).