Dinosaur Timeline Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach students about the three periods in the dinosaur timeline. Students will read a text lesson and apply learning to a hands-on activity that makes learning stick. Test understanding with a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the three periods in the dinosaur timeline
  • explain how dinosaurs live today


1 - 1.5 hours


  • Copies of the lesson Dinosaur Timeline: Lesson for Kids, one for each student
  • Highlighters
  • Bulletin or wall space dedicated to the dinosaur timeline
  • Paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Index cards
  • Library card pockets

Key Vocabulary

  • Triassic
  • Jurassic
  • Cretaceous

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2

Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3

Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

Warm Up and Preparation

  • Break students into small groups and ask them to brainstorm what they know about dinosaurs, including names and physical characteristics.
  • When ready, have groups share their brainstorms.
  • Have groups discuss:
    • When did dinosaurs live?
    • Are there still dinosaurs?
    • How are the dinosaurs you talked about alike? How are they different?

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