Teacher's Guide for DIG TM The Truth About Dinosaurs

July/August Issue

This guide was prepared by Nancy I. Colamussi, Elementary Education, B.S., M.A.

Rocky Point School District, Long Island, New York.

Extended Response: Comprehension & Critical Thinking

The questions below can be used as written, simply answered in complete sentences, or easily transformed into longer essay (ELA) style questions, or even research topics. In any case, have the students support their answers with details from the text or use critical thinking skills to create a thorough and interesting answer. Consider the level of your students when deciding how to use the questions. The questions for each lesson can be found under the article's title below, and the answers for the short response questions are on the last page of the guide.

"Stones and Bones" p. 4-5

  1. Explain 3 reasons that Tel Megiddo has an impressive history.
  2. How did Greek scientists solve the mystery of the plague that devastated Athens?

"Confessions of a T. Rex" p. 6-8

    1. What details were scientists able to determine because Sue's bones were so well preserved?
    2. How did scientists try to determine Sue's gender? Was it accurate? Why/why not?
    3. How did scientists determine Sue's age?
    4. What are some theories concerning some of the holes in Sue's bones?

"Meet Jane, A Juvenile T. Rex" p. 10-12

Mark each statement True or False. If false, provide the correction that would make the sentence true.

_____1. A theropod is a meat-eating dinosaur.

_____2. To remove the 12 feet of overlying rock that covered the theropod's bones, paleontologists first used pneumatic drills.

_____3. The closer digging came to the bone-bearing layer, the smaller the tools became.

_____4. As the theropod's bones were uncovered, the position of each was recorded on video.

_____5. Large plaster jackets were built around sections of the skeleton to protect them on their 2,000-mile trip from the badlands of Montana to the Burpee Museum.

_____6. Museum preparators took less than 8 months to complete the preparation of Jane's skeleton.

_____7. After much analysis, Burpee paleontologists concluded that Jane is a juvenile stegosaurus.

_____8. The world's first juvenile T.Rex skeleton, Jane, is now the centerpiece of an exhibit at the Burpee Museum.

"Triceratops Battles" p. 14-15

    1. Which theory concerning the use of the Triceratops horns seems most accurate to you? Why?
    2. Why might 2 triceratops fight each other?
    3. How else could have triceratops have gotten injuries on their skulls?

"Feathered Friends" p. 16-19

  1. What circumstances in China's Liaoning Province led to such amazing preservation?
  2. What was unusual about the discovery of the sinosauropteryx?
  3. Explain the controversy surrounding the unbranched fibers that resembled feathers on the sinosauropteryx?
  4. What is the result of the illegal excavations in China?
  5. Why does the discovery of Liaoning fossils have important implications for a broad range of dinosaurs?

Activity: Using the details in the article, draw one of the strange dinosaurs discovered in the 1990's.

"Paleontology/Archaeology" p. 20-21

    1. What 3 processes most tissue undergoes to become fossilized?
    2. Explain how ancient life on the planet has become a multidisciplinary endeavor that blurs the lines between the various scientific fields.

"Meat-Eating Dinosaurs" p. 22-23

After reading the article, find the correct word to fill in the blanks.

  1. The teeth of most meat-eaters are designed to grasp and _____________ prey.

  1. Teeth specially designed to slice, rip and grind meat into smaller pieces are called ___________________________.

  1. Tooth marks on fossil bones provide important clues about the ____________ and hunting behaviors of meat-eating dinosaurs.

  1. The Majungatholus was a meat-eating dinosaur that was actually a __________________.

  1. _______________________ on teeth serve the same purpose as the serrations on a steak knife.

"Digging Down Under" p. 24 ""- 25

Match the words with their correct meanings.

______1. Minmi A. Those who study fossils of plants,

animals, and other organisms.

______2. Ornithomimosaurs B. Dinosaurs that inhabited cooler climates

that most other Mesozoic reptiles.

______3. Muttaburrasaurus C. a small, plant-eating armored Australian


______4. Leaellynasaura D. 23 feet long with a tough beak

______5. Paleobiologists E. Had large eyes to help

hunt prey during the long dark hours

______6. Polar Dinosaurs F. Meat-eating, ostrich-like dinosaur

"New Technology for Old Fossils" p. 26-27

Write an essay explaining how modern technology has changed the way scientists uncover and study fossils. Use examples from this article to support your statements.

"Fossil Hunter Par Excellence" p. 28

Write a descriptive journal page detailing a week in the life of David Krause on an expedition.

"Regal Reptile" p. 30

1. What is the significance of the discovery of the Rajasaurus narmadensis?


"Meet Jane" "Meat-Eating Dinosaurs"

  1. True 1. kill

  2. False- picks and shovels 2. carnassials

  3. True 3. diets

  4. False-recorded on a quarry map 4. cannibal

  5. True 5. Denticles

  6. False-more than 2 years

  7. False-juvenile T-rex

  8. True

"Digging Down Under"

  1. C

  2. F

  3. D

  4. E

  5. A

  6. B

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