Script for
D is for Dinosaur

Slideshow goes over dinosaurs, extinction and fossils. This is for preK and K and meant to repeat words over and over so children get a sense of what a dinosaur is really all about.

 Slide 1.  D is for Dinosaur

·       Emphasize that D is for Dinosaur.  Repeat several times especially for pre K.   Put the sound on when the students are sitting down.  When you are ready to start, stop the sound.

·       Ask them what is wrong with this picture? Caveman and dinosaurs did not live together.   Certainly, a caveman could not outrun Tyrannosaurs!

·       Ask them if the sound is correct?  Could we record their sound over 65 million years ago?  No.  But we do have present day carnivores with muscles that help us with this sound.  Kind of like a lion’s roar.

·       Present is Key to the Past. What does this mean? This means that knowing about today’s animals help us figure out how extinct animals may have lived.  Also, their fossils give us a clue of how big and what form they took.  

Slide 2. D is for Dinosaur; E is from Extinct, F is for Fossils

Go over each of the letters and provide as much facts as the children can absorb.

·       D is for Dinosaur.  They lived in the Mesozoic, which is between 225 million to 65 million years ago.  There were dinosaurs that lived in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.  There were many types large and small.  They lived from the Arctic to South America to Africa.  The most dinosaur remains are found in China.

·       E is for Extinct.  Dinosaurs are extinct.  This means that dinosaurs will never roam the earth again.  They are gone forever.

·       F is for fossil.  When dinosaurs and other organisms with bones or hard parts are buried, over time they can form fossils.  Fossils help us to understand past animals and how they lived.

Slide 3. What’s wrong with this picture? 

·       Allow student to discover misconceptions, most importantly: dinosaurs and humans did not live at the same time!  Dinosaurs also did not teach like humans. Cavemen and mammoths did not live in the same era, so the dinosaur teacher would not be showing those pictures even if they could teach!

·       Students can get silly… but as long as they are thinking, some conversation is good.

Slide 4.  What’s wrong with this picture?

·       Who is this character? (Fred Flintstone) Here we are trying to emphasize color. We do not know the real color of dinosaurs, skin is not preserved, but since we know about present day animals, we can make correlations that they probably had similar colors because of environment.

Slide 5.  What is the largest animal living on earth?

·       Read the question twice. Most students will say the brown dinosaur is the biggest. You can go over each animal and play a game with them about which one they think is the biggest. The Blue Whale is the biggest, because it is still living. Dinosaurs are extinct. Emphasize that E is for Extinct. F is for Fossils, which is all we have left of the dinosaurs.

Slide 6.  Where do dinosaurs belong.

·       Tell the students that you will need to group organisms that live on earth that have backbones.  Scientist recognize 5 groups depending on where they live and have babies.  Take each of the animals and ask them what it is and what is its name.  A if for amphibian (lives in water and has babies in water).   B is for bird  *lives on lad and has babies on land).  F is for Fish,  lives and has babies in water.  M is for mammal and lives and has babies on land.  R is for reptile and they live mainly on land and have babies on land. 

·       Ask why the dinosaur has no place to go? Again it is extinct, and scientists group dinosaurs as mammal like, reptile like and bird like.  They were exclusively land animals.

·       Scientists have declared that dinosaurs were only land animals.

Slide 7.   What do dinosaurs look like?

·       Here are paleontologists carefully excavating dinosaur fossils. Was this a big dinosaur or a little dinosaur? A big dinosaur. How do we know? By the size of the fossils. We compare dinosaur fossils to the bones of living animals to try to figure out how big dinosaurs were, how they moved, where their muscles were and how they looked. 

Slide 8.  Trace Fossils

·       Trace fossils are fossils that are not bones. Trace fossils include footprints, tracks, nests, burrows, teeth marks and poop.

Slide 9.

·       Footprints You can discuss the footprint trace in New Mexico of a T-rex. What can we learn from footprint? The size of the dinosaur, how fast it moved, how it walked, what type of environment it lived in.

·       Look at the footprints and ask students where they walking or running?  Ask them, if they are on a beach remember what their footprints looked like? 

Slide 10.

·       Camarasaurus. Let this run a couple of times. Discuss the leaving of footprints and poop. This demonstrates the significance of other types of  fossils, trace fossils. Not every dinosaur becomes a fossil, but we can still learn about them and their behaviors based on other things they leave behind (tracks, excrement). Students may think it is gross, but it is very important!

Slide 11.  Coprolites

Coprolites is fossil poop, whether a dinosaur or a worm. 

Dr. Karen Chin, looking at fossil coprolites (fossil poop). Ask students what kind of information they think she can get from the coprolites? She can tell the kind of dinosaur, what they ate, and the environment.

https://www.sciencefriday.com/videos/discovering-the-past-through-dino-poop/

Slide 12.

·       Dinosaur nest and eggs. Dinosaurs laid eggs on land. Ask the students to name other reptiles: turtle, snake, alligator crocodiles and lizards. These are fossil eggs. F is for Fossils.   Movie is from 1923, American Museum of Natural History in Mongolia

·       The babies are Hadrosaurs.  They were able to take xrays to see the bone outline.  The second picture is a reenactment.

Slide 13.  Segnosaurus nest 

·       These specimens were found in China and assigned to the Stegonsaurus.  They are Cretaceous in age.

Slide 14 and 15.  Imagine walking with dinosaurs when they were alive! 

There are two videos.  One that shows dinosaurs that were smaller or same height.  The second video shows dinosaurs that are much larger than humans.  The video is just trying to show students scale.