Friday, July 22, 2016

Dinosaur Mysteries

This week at camp was all about investigating mysteries from the past: Dinosaur Mysteries!

On Monday, we learned all about dinosaur size. In one activity, we taped some footprints of a dinosaur called Coelophysis to the floor, spacing them apart so the stride length was 67 inches, and the kids tested their strides to see if they could outrun a dinosaur. 

Yellow group's dinosaur creation!

Drawing Dinosaur Teeth
On Tuesday, we had a tour of the second floor, focused on dinosaurs and their teeth! We learned about and got to touch the teeth of different dinosaurs. 

We also got to make our own diorama for a dinosaur that we got to take home, building it a habitat and making sure that it has plenty to eat in its home.

Next, we made activity lap books to help us sort dinosaurs by lots of different criteria, like when they lived, what they ate, and even how big they were. Finally, we used evidence to figure out who – or what – ate the Ammonite, a creature that lived millions of years ago!

On Wednesday, we focused on what dinosaurs are, and when they lived. We went on a tour of the 2nd floor to learn about what makes something a dinosaur, and played a game where we sorted different animals based on whether or not they were a dinosaur. We learned that some things that some people think are dinosaurs actually aren’t dinosaurs at all! Next, we made dinosaur timelines to show when dinosaurs lived, how long they lived, and what came after the dinosaurs. We also drew some murals to show what kinds of things were alive when the dinosaurs were alive, and what things live before or after the dinosaurs.

Lastly, we made some very fun-looking pterosaurs, and learned about how pterosaurs are actually NOT dinosaurs!

On Thursday, we learned all about fossils, the mysteries they hold, and the mysteries they can help us solve! For one activity, we looked at evidence from a prehistoric crime scene to decide if the animal died, or if it was killed! Next, we learned about layers in the soil under our feet, and did puzzles to see if we could figure out which layers went where in the dirt. After that, we worked in groups to be paleontologists, and looked at some paper “fossils” to try to figure out what kind of animals we had. Turns out paleontology is a lot harder than it looks!


Finally, we looked at footprints and saw how they can actually teach us a lot about what prehistoric animals were doing. We even put our dinosaur detective’s skills to the test, and had to figure out what had happened based on some dinosaur footprints!


On Friday, we asked, “Where did the dinosaurs go?” and we found some crazy answers! First, we learned about how dinosaurs went extinct, and read about some of the different theories that scientists have about why the dinos all died out. We used these theories to write stories about a dinosaur that lived, or didn’t live, through the extinction. Next, we learned about the dinosaurs that did survive: birds! We made paper kites of Archaeopteryx, the “missing link” between birds and dinosaurs. Then, we talked about how birds are actually dinosaurs and how they evolved from dinosaurs. We looked at dinosaur bones in the museum, compared them to bird skeletons, and saw how similar they look!

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