Rock Cycle - Past Life (1A)
Pre Lab 

  • Comparing and contrasting dinosaurs and dragons.
  • Learning to distinguish dinosaurs from mythical animals.
  • dinosaur
  • dragon
  • myth
  • extinct
  • Dinosaur Bones by Aliki
  • Carnegie Dinosaur Models
  • crayons
  • drawing paper

Students examine models to compare dinosaurs and dragons.


Dinosaurs fascinate little children. It is every child’s dream to one day have his very own dinosaur. Ask the students if this could possibly happen. They should realize that dinosaurs have long since been extinct

Children may confuse a "dragon" as a type of dinosaur. Dragons exist only in stories and myths. However, dinosaurs were once real creatures. Discuss the difference between extinct and mythical animals. Mythical are not real and extinct are real, but no longer living.

  1. Discuss the difference between extinct and mythical animals with the class. They should understand the difference between animals we can't see anymore that did once exist (extinct animals) and animals we can't see that have never existed (mythical animals). Ask the students if it would be possible for them to have an actual dinosaur or an actual dragon as a pet. Be sure they realize that both scenarios are impossible. Dinosaurs are unavailable as pets because they've been extinct for 65 million years and dragons cant’ be pets because they're make-believe!
  2. Make a chart on the board. Label the columns  "dinosaur" and "dragon".  Have the students brainstorm and list  the differences and similarities of each type of creature under each column. Note that there are both differences and similarities between dragons and dinosaurs: scales, for instance, are characteristic of both. Draw the information in a ven diagram to help students visualize the characteristics.


  1. Read Dinosaur Bones to the students. This story traces how humans derive information from fossils.
  2. With this new information, have students make their own drawings of a dragon or a dinosaur. You may want them to "glitter" the dragon to reinforce the idea of "not real."  You may want to have a set of  Dinosaur Carnegie Models  out to help guide their artistic abilities.

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