Students will use a K-W-L chart to learn about dinosaurs or fossils.
Main Curriculum Tie:
Science - 4th Grade
Standard 4 Objective 2
Explain how fossils can be used to make inferences about past life, climate, geology, and environments.
- Geology Rocks!: 50 Hands-On Activities to Explore
the Earth, by
Cindy Blobaum; ISBN 1-885593-29-5
- The Dragon in the Cliff: A Novel Based on the Life
of Mary Anning,
by Shelia Cole; ISBN 0688101968
- Dragon in the Rocks: A Story Based on the Childhood of the Early
Paleontologist, Mary Anning, by Marie Day; ISBN 1895688388
- The Fossil Girl: Mary Anning’s Dinosaur Discovery, by Catherine
Brighton; ISBN 0761314687
- Ichthyosaurus and Little Mary Anning, by Brooke Hartzog;
- Mary Anning and the Sea Dragons, by Jeannine Atkins;
- Mary Anning: The Fossil Hunter, by Dennis Brindell Fradin;
- Rare Treasure: Mary Anning and Her Remarkable Discoveries,
by Don Brown; ISBN 0395922860
- Stone Girl, Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning, by Laurence
Anholt; ISBN 0531301486
- The Field Museum
The Field Museum has the story of Sue, along with pictures and
Intended Learning Outcomes:
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
2. Manifest Scientific Attitudes and Interests
3. Understand Science Concepts and Principles
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning
Invitation to Learn
Have students say the tongue twister, “She sells seashells by the
seashore” three times as fast as they can. Tell them that it is about
Anning, who grew up in the early 1800’s on the coast of England. She
collected shells to sell in her father’s souvenir shop. When she was
12 years old, she discovered her first fossil skeleton. It was a dolphinlike
reptile called an Ichthyosaur. She found many other marine fossils
during her life that are now displayed in museums all over the world.
- Students make a K-W-L chart in their journal.
- List things that they know
about dinosaurs and fossils in the“K” column.
- Write questions
about dinosaurs or fossils in the “W” column
that they would like to find answers to (e.g., Why did the
dinosaurs and other prehistoric organisms become extinct?).
- Read information
from the Dinosaur Track Pack and The Story
of Sue handout.
- Students list what they learned in the “L” section
of the chart.
- Students meet in small groups and share what they learned
- Share an example of what a report about the history of dinosaurs
would look like.
- Students write a 300-word (one page) report about the
dinosaurs. It should include information that students learned
from their research.
- Students use the Internet
to search for information about other
paleontologists, such as Othniel Charles Marsh who made many
discoveries in the 1860’s.
- Students illustrate their reports
with their own drawings or
pictures from the Internet.
- Some students may need to sit up close to see
the pictures and
other items in the Dinosaur Track Pack.
- Students may work
in groups or with a partner to read The Story
- Take a family fieldtrip to one
of the many places where fossils
have been found or displayed in museums throughout the state of
- As a family, create a fossil and shell collection in the home
visits family members have made to a seashore.
- Read books together about
dinosaurs, fossils, and famous
Fountas, I. C., Pinnell, G. S. (2001).
Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6. Teaching
Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy, Chapter 15.
Literature study contributes to student learning in five ways:
expanding reading comprehension strategies, learning to think critically,
appreciating the aesthetic qualities of literature, developing
communication skills, and extending writing skills.
Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom Instruction
Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, Chapter 3.
Summarizing and note-taking are two of the most useful academic
skills for students to cultivate. They provide students with tools for
identifying and understanding the most important aspects of what they
Created Date :
Dec 20 2005 10:19 AM