Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fossils: Digging for Dinosaur Bones

Keep your eyes out for puzzles similar to these (I've found them at Michael's, for only a buck or two each):

They're wooden sheets of pieces that you punch out and then assemble.  The paper inside the package tells you how to assemble the pieces, but you don't need it for this activity. 

Punch out the pieces for one dinosaur and bury the pieces in a bucket of sand.  Have students dig out the pieces and then try to assemble the pieces.  Without the instructions in front of them, they'll be working as paleontologists do, trying to determine how the bones go together. 

Some other ideas to consider:
*Mix up pieces from two different dinosaurs in the same bucket of sand - students have to determine which bones go with which fossil, as well as assembling them.
*Don't put all of the pieces in the bucket - you don't always find a complete skeleton in one place.
*Consider putting the pieces in something that requires more excavation than just pulling the pieces out of sand. 

Even if your curriculum doesn't include a study of dinosaurs and/or fossils, you can use this activity as a lesson on the way scientists work. 

1 comment:

  1. You wouldn't happen to have the instructions to the t-rex would you? I got the puzzle from a friend but it didn't have the instructions and searching the internet has been a bust.