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Virtual Dinosaur Dig

What it is: The Smithsonian site is full of amazing activities and interactives.   A few weeks ago I stumbled on their Virtual Dinosaur Dig interactive and immediately sent it on to our second grade teachers who are teaching a dinosaur unit.  During the Virtual Dinosaur Dig, students act as paleontologists who find a virtual fossil, learn how vertebrate paleontologists excavate the specimen, learn about the anatomy of the specimen and where it lived, view an illustration of what the specimen may have looked like, transport the speciman to a museum, and reconstruct the speciman (a stegosaurus) at the museum.  Each step of the interactive gives students information about the tools used to excavate, and why the tool is used.  Students get to virtually use each tool to excavate, transport, and reconstruct the dinosaur. How to integrate Virtual Dinosaur Dig into the classroom: This Virtual Dig makes students virtual paleontologists.  The activity is perfect for a interactive whiteboard or projector.  Choose a student team of paleontologists who will help with the excavation.  Each student can use one of the tools and explain their portion of the excavation to the class.  While these students are at the board demonstrating the excavation, students at their seats can fill in their official “Paleontologist Field Guide” to record the steps and tools used in the excavation (I created the field guide for our second grade teachers and will post the pdf version below).  The Virtual Dinosaur Dig could also be used as a center activity for teams of paleontologists to visit on classroom computers or in a computer lab setting.  Students can fill out their Field Guides as they work.  After the virtual dig, set up a hands on dig.  Students can “excavate” chocolate chips out of a chocolate chip cookie by carefully digging with toothpicks. Tips: I created this Paleontologist Field Guide journal to accompany the Virtual Dig.  Included in the pdf is an answer guide. Print these pages back to back to create a book that is folded down the center.  dino dig field guide The field guide asks students to match the tool picture with its name and order the sequence of events during the excavation. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Virtual Dinosaur Dig in your classroom.

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Friday Recap

Posted by admin | Posted in Friday Recap | Posted on 27-05-2011

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Three day weekends are a gift straight from heaven!  I could not be more thrilled that we are headed into one of those.  I have been on turbo speed for the past few months and I need a reason to take a forced break- this seems like the perfect excuse to do just that!

Working to open a school in August is hard work, I continue to be amazed at the learning community that is being pulled together and I am excited to see it all unfold!

This week:

I hope you had a meaningful week full of many learning gifts.  To those who finished school this week-congratulations! For those who have some time yet- keep doing what is best for kids!

Happy weekend!

Comments (2)

I love your Searching For da Vinci resource! It’s exactly what I was thinking when I wrote my first blog post on da Vinci. The Bloom’s Taxonomy visuals are great, too! I’d like to hear more about what you are doing with it. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Peggy, as you will remember your post was the inspiration for this line of thought!

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