Introducing Dinosaurs Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn about some interesting dinosaur characteristics in this overview of dinosaurs.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

Back in the mists of time, there lived an extraordinary group of animals. Called dinosaurs, they survived for more than 150 million years, MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Do you think the caption "Fantastic Femur" is a good one for the Brachiosaurus? Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Ask students why they think paleontologists (scientists who study dinosaurs) are often both excited and frustrated when they hunt for fossils on an expedition. Encourage kids to talk about how exciting huge dinosaur fossil finds must be!
  2. Write about it: Ask students to identify one thing that really interests them about dinosaurs and write a paragraph about it to share with the class. (When grappling to write a good paragraph, student interest is a necessity. However, if your students don't have much prior knowledge of the topic, you can provide story starters such as "How would it feel to be the last dinosaur to become extinct?")

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on dinosaurs.


Introducing Dinosaurs Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to dinosaurs by using each defined word in a sentence.



Identify the Dinosaurs
Grade: 3 - 6
Enrich your study of prehistoric life. In this worksheet, children match each image of a dinosaur with its correct name.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Dinosaur

Discover the prehistoric world of dinosaurs. Packed with real dinosaur fossils, this book features computer reconstructions bringing the fossils to life and reflecting the latest ideas on how dinosaurs looked and behaved.

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