Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dinosaur world: how much do you know about these creatures from long ago?(SCIENCE).

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The Land Before People

Dinosaurs once ruled earth.

Dinosaurs roamed Earth millions of years ago. Some dinosaurs were as small as chickens. Others were larger than houses.

Dinosaur Food

Scientists often group dinosaurs by the food they ate. Most dinosaurs ate plants. Those dinosaurs are called herbivores. They had flat teeth.

Some dinosaurs ate meat. Those dinosaurs are called carnivores. Carnivores had sharp teeth.



Digging for Fossils

Dinosaurs died out cut 65 million years ago. No people were alive during that time. Then how do we know so much about dinosaurs? People have found dinosaur fossils in the ground. Fossils are remains of plants and animals that lived long ago.

Hundreds of different types of dinosaurs have been found. Experts say that there are many more yet to be discovered.


Tiny Dinosaur Discovered!

Scientists have identified a new dinosaur. It is the smallest dinosaur yet to be found in North America. The dinosaur was smaller than a house cat.

The tiny dinosaur had very sharp claws and teeth. It was a carnivore. Scientists say it most likely hunted insects and small animals.

The dinosaur's fossils were actually found almost 30 years ago. They were put in a drawer for safekeeping. A scientist took the fossils out a few years ago. He decided to study them. That led him to make the discovery.


THINK ABOUT IT! Why might scientists want to learn more about dinosaurs?

Goal: Students will learn about dinosaurs, including the difference between an herbivore and a carnivore. Students will also learn about a new dinosaur that scientists have identified.

Objective: Students will be able to explain the difference between herbivore and carnivore dinosaurs. They will also be able to explain how scientists learn about dinosaurs.

Before Reading

Critical Thinking: Find out what students already know about dinosaurs. Ask: How do scientists learn about dinosaurs if there are no dinosaurs alive today? What do you think dinosaurs ate?

Background Information

* The first dinosaurs appeared about 230 million years ago. Dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago.

* Dinosaurs were reptiles. A reptile is a cold-blooded animal with scaly skin and a backbone.

* A few dinosaurs were omnivores. They ate both plants and meat.

* Many scientists believe that birds are related to dinosaurs.

During Reading

Critical Thinking: Pause after reading the information about Tyrannosaurus rex and Apatosaurus. Ask: How are T rex and Apatosaurus alike? How are they different?

After Reading

Critical Thinking: Explain that scientists who study dinosaurs are called paleontologists. They study bones, fossils, and other materials to learn what dinosaurs looked like and how they lived. Ask: Are dinosaur discoveries important? Would you want to be a paleontologist? Why or why not?

Language Arts Extension: Ask students to imagine they have discovered a dinosaur fossil in the backyard. Have them each write a story describing the discovery. Then ask them to draw pictures of what the dinosaurs looked like and what they ate.

Adaptation: Use echo reading to improve students' fluency. Read the issue's title aloud. Then ask students to read the title aloud, using your reading as a model. Continue with the rest of the issue. After reading each sentence aloud, have students read the same sentence aloud. Encourage students to read as smoothly as possible.


Dinosaur flames

Most dinosaur names are made up of a combination of word parts. Use the chart to learn the meanings of some of those word parts. Then answer the questions below.

Dinosaur Word Part Meaning

cera horn
diplo double
megalo large
micro tiny
penta five
raptor robber
rex king
saurus lizard
tops face
tyranno bully
1. What does raptor mean? --

2. What does cera mean? --

3. What is the word part that means "large"? --

4. What is the word part that means "lizard"? --

5. What is the word part that means "double"?

Answer key

1. robber, 2. horn, 3. megalo, 4. saurus, 5. diplo


What does the name Tyrannosaurus rex mean?

Answer key

Try This! bully lizard king

What Do You Know?


How much did you learn from reading this issue? Fill in the circle for the best answer to each question.

1. When did dinosaurs live on Earth?

(A) millions of years ago

(B) one hundred years ago

2. Did people live at the same time as dinosaurs?

(A) yes

(B) no

3. What did most dinosaurs eat?

(A) meat

(B) plants

4. What is a meat-eater called?

(A) carnivore

(B) herbivore

5. What are fossils?

(A) a small, meat-eating dinosaur

(B) remains of plants and animals that lived long ago


Answer key

1.A, 2. B, 3. B, 4. A, 5. B


Dear Kids,

My friend Amy brought a new dinosaur toy to school. Everyone wants to play with if. I feel left out. What should I do?



Q: Which dinosaur could jump higher than a tree?

A: All of them. Trees can't jump!


How many words can you write with the letters in the word dinosaur? We've written one for you.

ran --
-- --
-- --
-- --
Answer Key

Word Power: Answers will vary, but may include: on, no, so, as, us, do, sad, sun, run, sand.

Source Citation:"Dinosaur world: how much do you know about these creatures from long ago?(SCIENCE)." Weekly Reader, Edition 2 (including Science Spin) 79 (Oct 2009): SSS1(6). General OneFile. Gale. Alachua County Library District. 24 Sept. 2009

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