|Level: Beginner||Duration: N/A|
|Grade Level: Elementary (K+)||Author: LEGO Education|
|Topics: Visual discrimination, sorting, developing communication and story-telling skills|
|References / Resources:|
Students will classify differing LEGO elements and then use these pieces to create a dinosaur.
Students will act as a team of paleontologists digging for dinosaur “bones”. When all of the “bones” have been discovered the students will then work together to reconstruct their dinosaur and explain their discovery.
Before class begins:
- The teacher will need to bury a variety of DUPLO elements in either an empty storage bin or a cardboard box filled with uncooked rice, beans, or Styrofoam peanuts. These bins/boxes represent “excavation sites” and the elements within them “dinosaur bones”. The number of sites that need to be created will depend upon the number of groups the class will be divided into. Note: Each “excavation site” should contain 10 DUPLO “bones”.
During class activity:
- Divide the students into groups and give a quick introduction to the activity. To spark the interest of younger students, a story starter could be used.
Example: Has anyone ever heard of the field of paleontology? Can anyone tell me what it is? Paleontology is the study of prehistoric life and today we are going to act as paleontologists who have made fantastic discoveries – new species of dinosaurs!
- Invite the students to pretend they are a team of paleontologists digging for dinosaur “bones”. Explain that each box/bin in front of them is their “excavation site” and that they must dig in the box to find the buried “bones”.
- Instruct the students to take turns digging through the “excavation site” until all dinosaur bones have been discovered.
- When all of the bones have been discovered, instruct the children to work together and sort through their “bones” by shape and size, naming some “neck bones”, others the “leg bones”, etc.
- After the students are finished sorting, challenge them to build a dinosaur model from the “bones” uncovered in their “dig”. When they have finished ask each excavation team to explain their discovery.
- How did each excavation team decide how to sort their bones? Did teams sort by size, shape, or color? What were the determining factors when labeling the “bones”?
- What was the life of each of the new dinosaurs like? What did they eat? Where did they live? Do the features of the dinosaur they reconstructed correspond to the story they tell?
Many dinosaurs are named by taking several small “root” words and combining them into one large word that describes something about the animal.
For example, combine the following roots:
Bronto- meaning thunder
Saurus- meaning lizard
This creates the dinosaur name Brontosaurus: the largest dinosaur to walk on four legs. This dinosaur earned its name because with each step the earth shook like thunder.
Print off the Dinosaur Dictionary worksheet in the references/resources section and challenge each team to give their new dinosaur a scientific name.