Dinosaur Measurement
Math
Grade Level (K-1)

Objectives:

  1. To give students a concrete example of the size of the Brontosaurus (65 feet), Tyrannosaurus Rex (47 feet), Deinonychus (10 feet), Triceratops (20 feet) and the Stegosaurus (26 feet).
  2. To give students practice with estimating.
  3. To give students practice counting objects and recording the results.

Materials:

  1. Paper strips (1 foot long each)
  2. Information about each of the above mentioned dinosaurs
  3. Poster to fill out with information that we find
  4. Books to be used for background information (See Bibliography)
  5. Scientists (or students)

Procedure:

  1. Discuss background information with center group about their dinosaur. Use books during center time to help with this information.
  2. Have children count out how many paper strips they will need. For example, the T-Rex will need 25 strips.
  3. Take center group out in the hall, and let children lie pieces on floor, end to end.
  4. Discuss with the children how big the dinosaur truly was.
  5. Ask children to estimate how many children's bodies it would take to equal the one dinosaur. (If the children were laid out on the floor head to toe, head to toe).
  6. Record guesses on poster.
  7. Lie children on the ground, head to toe, and find the true answer. (This may require more children than are in the center group, so children from inside the room will be asked to come out into the hall.)
  8. Discuss results with the center group.
  9. Repeat with next center group using a new dinosaur.

Evaluation:

  1. Do the students better understand how big a dinosaur really was?. Can they communicate this information to other students?
  2. They should be able to estimate size better than when they started.
  3. Did the students count both the number of paper strips, and the number of children correctly? Did they record the numbers correctly.

Reflection & Extension:

I had a very difficult time getting the children to cooperate with me during the body measurement section of this lesson. If I do this lesson again, I need to think of a new way to work this.

An extension to this lesson that I spontaneously created was to have the children report to the rest of their classmates about their dinosaur. The children really enjoyed this activity.