Crocodiles have roamed the earth for millions of years. Differing little from their prehistoric ancestors, they have survived everything from the ice ages to poaching. In this lesson, students will examine the similarities between crocodiles and humans as they compare and contrast skeletal structure, height ratios and body parts.
Grade Level: Grades 6-8
Subject Areas: Science, Math
Students will be able to do the following:
- compare the skeletal structure of supersize crocodiles to humans.
- analyze the similar internal structures of humans and crocodiles.
- use ratio to estimate the height of a person.
- use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to create a supersize croc image.
- Computer with Internet access
- The video of the episode “Supersize Crocs”
- “Compare the Facts” worksheet (PDF)
- “How do Supersize Crocs Measure Up?” organizer (PDF)
- “Crocodile and Human Comparison” Venn diagram (PDF)
- Tape measure (one for each group of students)
- Rulers: one per student
- Yardsticks: several
- 18×24 piece of paper: one per student
Bookmark the following sites:
Super Croc website
This website contain facts about the Sarcosuchus imperator.
Museum of Natural History
This website contains a large selection of crocodile photographs.
Level III [Grade 6-8]
Standard 2. Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of numbers
7. Understands the concepts of ratio, proportion, and percent and the relationships among them
Standard 3. Uses basic and advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation
6. Uses proportional reasoning to solve mathematical and real-world problems (e.g., involving equivalent fractions, equal ratios, constant rate of change, proportions, percents)
Standard 5. Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of geometry
6. Understands the mathematical concepts of similarity (e.g., scale, proportion, growth rates) and congruency
Level III [Grade 6-8]
Standard 5. Understands the structure and function of cells and organisms
4. Knows that multicellular organisms have a variety of specialized cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems that perform specialized functions (e.g., digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, excretion, movement, control and coordination, protection from disease)
Standard 7. Understands biological evolution and the diversity of life
4. Knows evidence that supports the idea that there is unity among organisms despite the fact that some species look very different (e.g., similarity of internal structures in different organisms, similarity of chemical processes in different organisms, evidence of common ancestry)