A Teacher's Guide To The Exhibit for Grades K-8 -- San Diego Natural History Museum -- Environmental Science Education Center

Dinosaurs and Evolution

1. The Shelled Egg

Demonstrate how a shell protects on egg from drying. Place two small dabs (1/2 t.) of jelly on a piece of wax paper. Cover one with a small plastic dish or plastic Easter egg. Set both dabs in a warm place for at least an hour. Observe them. Which jelly sample has begun to dry? Did the "shell" help protect the jelly from drying?

2. Sprawl/Crawl/Walk

Try moving across the room as a
(1) sprawler—arms way out to the sides
(2) crawler—arms under body
(3) walker—on feet

Which motion is easier? Faster? Best suited for moving over land surfaces?

3. Environmental Adaptations

Provide students with a set of environmental conditions such as: physical setting (mountains, valley, etc.); climate (wet, dry, windy); flora; fauna. Ask students to design an animal adapted to these environmental conditions.

Students should be able to justify the features they have given their animal.

Time and Change

1. Time Lines

Have students construct a time line of their life, a parent's life, history of their school, etc.

2. Laundry Basket Sediments

Layering of clothes in the laundry basket represents sequential passage of time. (The clothes you wore on Monday are below the ones you wore on Tuesday and Wednesday.) Pulling a sock out of the middle of the basket can represent uplift of the upper layers.

3. School Paper Sediments

Start a deposition of student work sheets at the beginning of the school year. Make daily or weekly deposits (stack them up). At the end of the year go on a "dig." Have students observe the dates on the papers they dig up and note the progress that they have made over the course of the year.

4. Neighborhood Change Over Time

Make observations of your school yard or neighborhood area, buildings, vegetation, road conditions, etc. Re-examine your observation area periodically. Note changes. Are the changes cyclic (like seasonal) or do they appear to be more permanent? How do these changes affect people, plants, animals that live in the area?

Back to Activities

Teacher's Guide | Dinosaurs of the Jurassic Park | Exhibits