Students explore prehistoric life by simulating the way real scientists learn about dinosaurs by examining their fossils and their footprints. After spanning the millennia with a geological time line, students create, bury, and unearth imitation fossils, the backbone of dinosaur research. They try to reconstruct dinosaur skeleton models and speculate about the animals' appearance and behavior, based on their bones. They investigate dinosaur footprints and make inferences about size, speed, and stride. Using dinosaur models, students become familiar with various dinosaurs' physical features. They develop a classification system and learn the meanings of dinosaur names.
In the Delta Science Reader Dinosaurs and Fossils, students discover what dinosaurs were, when they lived, what they were like, and how they may have become extinct. They read about fossils. They find out how different kinds of fossils form and what scientists can learn from fossils. Students learn the two main classifications of dinosaurs and meet examples of each type in a "field guide." They also read about paleontologists, scientists who study the history of life on Earth, and the work they do. Finally, students learn about Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found.