Dinosaur Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teaching children about dinosaurs can be fun with this Study.com lesson. Help students dig into dinosaur history, learn to classify dinosaurs and discover current-day dinosaurs. Follow up with an engaging activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define key terms
  • classify dinosaurs
  • explain dinosaur extinction


1 hour


  • Picture cards of dinosaurs, one set for each student pairing (dinosaur task cards)
  • Index cards

Key Vocabulary

  • Dinosaur
  • Paleontology
  • Fossil
  • Extinct
  • Ornithischian
  • Saurischian
  • Carnivores

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2

Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.10

By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


  • Connect to prior knowledge and engage students by asking them to brainstorm everything they know about dinosaurs for 3 minutes. Record in science notebooks in today's entry titled 'Dinosaurs.'
  • Share and discuss ideas. Allow misconceptions (we'll clear them up in a bit) and record student answers on the board under the title 'What we know about dinosaurs.'
  • Tell students they will be learning about how dinosaurs are classified. If necessary, define the term.
  • With students, read the first section in our Study.com lesson Dinosaur Facts: Lesson for Kids. Stop after finishing the section 'What is a Dinosaur?'
  • As you encounter facts that differ from your brainstorm list, revisit the list and modify.
  • With students, develop a definition for dinosaurs and list characteristics. Have students record in notebooks as you record on chart paper or the board.
  • Ask the following questions. Allow students to talk to partners before sharing.
    • What characteristics do scientists use to classify dinosaurs?
    • Where did all dinosaurs live?
    • Describe dinosaur characteristics.
  • Read the section 'What did Dinosaurs Eat?,' 'How Do We Learn About Dinosaurs?,' and 'Dinosaur Extinction.' Clear up misconceptions and record information.
  • Discuss:
    • How do we know what dinosaurs ate?
    • What do paleontologists do?
    • How do bones become fossils?
    • What may have been a reason for dinosaur extinction?
  • Finally, read the section 'Dinosaur Legacy' and record information in notebooks.
  • Instruct students to read the Lesson Summary and ask a seat partner one question about dinosaurs.
  • Before moving on to the activity, ensure students have an understanding of key ideas and vocabulary.

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