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How Do Scientists Know What Dinosaurs Looked Like?

Science teachers of middle and high school students may want to consider adding this creative lesson plan published by Science Friday to their curriculum. In this lesson, students take on the roles of both a paleontologist and a paleoartist to virtually examine dinosaur fossils, record their observations, and use those observations to create evidence-based visual interpretations of how their fossils may have looked in real life. Designed to take place over one to two days, this lesson produces a STEAM learning experience that integrates topics from earth science, life science, and art. Downloadable resources are available, including a fossil specimen guide for the Morrison Formation in Colorado, an image-filled dinosaur ID guide, and a packet of student worksheets. The lesson plan also provides links to a five-minute illustrative video featuring professional paleoartist Gabriel Ugueto. This lesson plan was written by Brian Soash, Science Friday's educator community leader, and published in January 2019. It aligns with several Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core English language standards, and National Art standards.
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