Why did the dinosaurs go extinct?
Scroll for prep
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

DISCUSS:

How could scientists figure out what dinosaurs ate by studying fossils?

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

DISCUSS:

How do you think a single asteroid hitting the Earth could cause all the dinosaurs to go extinct?

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the Exploration & Activity you just completed.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Activities

The American Museum of Natural History in New York has a great Dinosaur Curriculum Collection (Grades 5–8; lesson plans included). Check these out:

  • Walk Like a Dinosaur!: Dinosaurs were reptiles…with a twist. Find out what makes a dinosaur a dinosaur by doing the dinosaur walk.

  • Solve a Sedimentary Layers Puzzle: What happened when? Test your fossil-hunting skills by working out this dino timeline.

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Reading and Resource:

The Name Game

Dinosaurs are usually named for the people who find them, the places they’re found, or the way they look. Sometimes, though, scientists have a bit of fun with it, as you’ll see when you read about a new dinosaur called Dracorex hogwartsia.” (Sound familiar?)

To find out more about how dinosaurs are named, check out this site.

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Videos

It may be hard to believe, but there are dinosaurs around us every day. You might even have had one for dinner last night.

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Art Project

Scientists and artists work together to imagine how dinosaurs looked and lived. Here, you’ll watch a video, read an article, and then create a dinosaur of your own.

Click here if you want to know the name scientists gave this dinosaur

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Readings

Readings from Newsela are free with registration. They can be adjusted for reading level. A writing prompt and quiz questions are available for each reading.

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this Mystery, students investigate the hypothesis that an asteroid impact caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. In the activity, Create a Dinosaur Food Web, students use cards and construction paper connectors to create a food web from the time of the dinosaurs. Using this model, they follow the flow of energy through the food web and figure out why dinosaurs went extinct but some other animals survived.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Markers
Pens, crayons, or colored pencils will also work.
Details
1 marker per student
Scissors
1 pair per student
Black Construction Paper
1 sheet per group
Colored Construction Paper
1 sheet per pair
Dino Die-Off Cards printout 1 per pair
Dinosaur Food Web printout 1 per student
Dinosaur Food Web Answer Key printout 1 per class
Prep Instructions

We recommend students work in pairs. Homeschool students can work on their own.

Each pair of students needs an area that’s about 2 feet by 3 feet for their completed food web. Plan for enough space. Students can work at desks, tables, or on the floor.

Access to a paper cutter will make your activity prep really easy.

Prepare Connector Strips

If you have access to a paper cutter, we suggest you use one to prepare these construction paper strips.

Cut the black construction paper into strips measuring 3” by ¾”.

Black Construction Strips

Cut your colored construction paper into strips measuring about 4” by ¾”.

Color Construction Strips

Extensions
Download this Mystery to your device so you can play it offline: