Dinosaur Reconstruction


  • One dinosaur packet for each group. (Leave off the answer sheet more a better challenge)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • crayons or markers
  • extra large paper (Apatosaurus needs about 4 feet by 2 feet the others can fit on a poster board)

Print out these activities and divide your class into small groups. Explain that they have recently uncovered dinosaur bones at a dig and they have to reassemble the bones into a skeleton. Most dinosaurs don't have numbers on their bones but these particular dinosaurs were into piercings and tattoos so they have numbers that help match up the bones. You can also lead into a discussion of how many museum reconstructions have been done incorrectly (thumb bone on Iguanadon placed as a nose horn or the wrong head on Apatosaurus in the NY Museum of Natural History). Point out that one way to learn about dinosaur skeletons is to look at our own bones. Most dinosaur bones are the same as ours just in different shapes. (Feel the way the bones in your forearm twist when you turn your hand.)

During the activity, I play the soundtrack to Jurassic Park to set the mood. I also have dinosaur-themed clip-art printed and pre-cut available for students to add to their scene. Try not to lead them too much but let them know that they can tell a story with their dinosaur. Many students draw in an asteroid or things the dinos ate. They’ll want to draw cavemen so address the fact that people and dinosaurs never coexisted but if they still want to include it I let them. After all, it is all about fun.

Finally, I print up a banner wide enough to span the hallway which reads “Welcome to Cretaceous Park.” Then I hang the banner and the reconstructions in the hallway.

As adapted from Chris Visco's worksheets


T Rex