The Newton Museum in Springfield Indiana was looking forward to the long awaited arrival of their "Giant Lizards of the Past" exhibit. But, just this morning they received the following message.

The museum curator, Dr. Beatrice Barnaby, or Dr. B.B. for short, is in a tizzy. What is she going to do now? The dinosaur wing of the museum will be empty and the visitors will be so disappointed. Each period, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretateous, was supposed to be displayed in their own hall. There were to be beautiful scenes filled with dinosaurs, plants and backdrops for each era. Each hall was to have explanations about the scene so that visitors could learn about the animals and plants of the time period. Dr. Bones even promised to be in attendance to answer questions. A huge crowd was expected to view the dinosaur exhibit. This really is a disaster.



Dr. B.B. is asking you to assist her in putting together a replacement exhibit. Her requirements are simple. She wants you to choose one time period for your hall. Triassic, Jurassic or Cretateous. Visitors should feel like they are stepping back in time. The hall will include a painted backdrop, plants and animals of the time. You will work with the museum's Artist Director, Polly Paintbrush, to construct the hall. You will also need to do some research. The museum's Information Manager, Dottie Data, will help you find out about the plants and animals. Together, you will write a brief description of things in your time period, so that visitors can learn about them. These descriptions will be placed on the outside of each hall. You are also being asked to create a timeline for the three time periods. Finally, Dr. B.B. is asking you to play the role of tour guide and answer any questions that the guests might have.


The Process

 Divide the whole group into two smaller groups. One group meets with the Polly Paintbrush on Day 1 and the other meets with Dottie Data. We'll switch back and forth each day.

 Artist Director's Group:

Step 1: Look at scenes in books and on the Internet from your time period. Figure out what kinds of animals and plants were around during that time.

Step 2: Decide what the backdrop will look like and what you will use to construct it.

Step 3: Choose the animals and plants to put in the hall and make a list of materials you will need.

Step 4: Construct the backdrop.

Step 5: Construct the animals and plants.

Step 6: Attach backdrop to hall walls and place animals and plants in the hall.


Information Manager's Group:

Step 1: Print out the data retrieval worksheet that you will use to record information about your plants, animals and time period.

Step 2: Visit the sites listed in the Information Resources section to help you fill in the worksheet. The classroom book set and additional books from the library should also be used. Ask the Information Manager to help you make notes as you go along.

Step 3: With the help of the Information Manager, type up a brief description of the animals and plants in your exhibit, plus some interesting facts about dinosaurs.

Step 4: Cut out your facts and glue them neatly on construction paper. Attach them to the side of your hall.

Step 5: Make a decorative sign for your hall in KidPix Studio Deluxe.

Both groups together:

Step 1: Create a timeline of the different periods using Timeliner or AppleWorks.

Step 2: Make a sign for "Giant Lizards of the Past" exhibit.

Step 3: With the Information Manager and Art Director's help, design an invitation to the grand opening of your exhibit.

Step 4: Distribute the invitations to the appropriate people.

Web Resources

Zoom Dinosaur web site by Enchanted Learning

Animals of the Triassic Period

Animals of the Jurassic Period

Animals of the Cretaceous Period

Dinosaur Dictionary

Dinosaurs -background information on Dinosaurs, plus information on specific dinos

More Dinosaurs -another page of information on specific dinos

Other Resources: Also check for books in your classroom and the school library.

Learning Advice

Even though the group will be divided into two smaller groups, both halls will be part of the same museum. Together, both groups will need to decide how they plan to display their information. How will the letters and words look and what size will they be?? Will additional illustations be needed? At times, great patience will be required since there is only one Polly Paintbrush and one Dottie Data. It is your responsibility to cooperate and take turns. You may bring in information from home.


The Newton Museum is eternally grateful to you for helping them with their problem. Since Dr. Doug M. Bones will be unable to attend the grand opening of the "Giant Lizards of the Past" exhibit, the museum would be very grateful if you could attend the Grand Opening. I'm sure you will be able to answer any questions that the visitors might have. Good luck!!

Now that you are Dino Experts, try out some of the following games. Some will need to be printed.

Math Games by Zoom

Dino Crossword Puzzle

Name that Reptile

Match the Head to the Dinosaur

Scrambled Dinos


Webquest created by:
Brooks "Dottie Data" Widmaier
October 9, 2000