Dinosaur Train: Even Bigger Than T. rex!
Learning Goal: Help students comprehend the size of some gigantic dinosaurs.
Related Episode: 104 "I'm a T. rex!" , 108 “One Big Dinosaur” and others
Subjects: Math, Science, Phys. Ed.
Watch a video clip of "I'm a T. rex!" (below) and demonstrate the size of three dinosaur species using a tape measure and physical markers. Have the students compare the sizes and walk the distance between to comprehend the enormity.
- Large area, such as a field, beach, or a gymnasium
- Tape measure (the longer the better, most run 6 ft.)
- 6 Plastic sports cones (or similar markers)
- Masking tape
- Stopwatch (or wrist watch with second hand)
- Adhesive tape
- Printable Pages: Data Collection Chart and 3 Dinosaur Species Illustration page (439KB PDF)
Related Video Clip
Dinosaur Train: I'm a T. rex! (2 minutes 25 seconds)
- PREPARATION: Use a tape measure to mark off 3 different lengths on the ground for this activity: 40, 60, and 100 feet. Put a sports cone at the start and end of each of the lengths. (For older students, you may also wish to mark off each 10 feet on the field and put additional markers at each of these points. That way, they can practice counting by tens to the dinosaurs’ lengths. "10, 20, 30, 40…")
- Ask the students to name some of the largest dinosaurs they know about. Then, have children watch a Dinosaur Train video clip above featuring of one of the longest dinosaurs ever, Argentinosaurus. Scientists believe it was at least 100 feet long. Explain that they are going to see for themselves how REALLY large that is. But first they are going to compare their own length to a T. rex's.
- Have a student volunteer lie down on the ground. Use a tape measure to find out the student's length/height. Round this measurement to the nearest foot. Explain that Tyrannosaurus rex was about 40 feet long from the tip of his snout to the tip of his tail. Compare the student's length with an adult T. rex's.
- Attach a T. rex picture [See PRINTABLE PAGES above] on the sports cone (or other marker) at the starting point marked off earlier, and have a student stand next to it. Then give another student the second picture of the T. rex with a tape loop on it. Ask the child to walk 40 feet to the end point, where the other cone is. Have this student attach the other T. rex sports cone at the other end.
- Use a stopwatch to see how long it takes the student to walk from one T. rex cone to the other. Write down this information on the Data Collection Chart [See PRINTABLE PAGES above]. If you wish, you can ask the students to see how fast they can RUN this distance.
- Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for the other two dinosaurs species, Spinosaurus and Argentinosaurus (60 feet away, and 100 feet away, respectively).
- To explore non-standard measurement, older students can measure the lengths of the various dinosaurs by walking heel-to-toe from one cone to another, and counting their steps. They might say, "A T. rex is 57 'Michael steps.'" IMPORTANT: Make sure that students don't accidentally put additional space in between steps, as the measurement won’t be accurate. As another activity, older students can divide the length of a large dinosaur by their length to see how many of their bodies put together would make a large dinosaur.
- If doing this activity with multiple students, you can divide the "Time to Run Length" column of the Data Collection Chart [See PRINTABLE PAGE above] into more columns, one for each student running.