What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
The Crystal Palace hosted the first display of life-size dinosaur replicas in 1854.
|Grades||7 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Historical Figure & Event|
On a series of three artificial islands and in the surrounding ponds, visitors to the 1854 World's Fair at the Crystal Palace in London saw the first life-size replicas of dinosaurs such as the Iguanodon, the Megalosaurus, and Pterodactyls, all created by sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins.
Waterhouse Hawkins' dinosaur replicas offer a great opportunity for an inquiry-based project. Some of Hawkins' models are known for their minor errors or incomplete detail. Consider the horn on the Iguanodon or the submerged Mosasaur (with body obscured since only fossils of the head had been discovered). The replicas are in fact more of a historical artifact than an accurate scientific model.
After learning about Hawkins' replicas, do a study of what we know about these same dinosaurs today-what did Hawkins get right and where did he draw the wrong conclusions? Students could work individually or in small groups to investigate a dinosaur of their choice, comparing Hawkins' versions to current knowledge about the prehistoric animals. The ReadWriteThink Venn Diagram is a nice tool to help students organize and present their findings.
- The Best Dinosaur Books for Kids / Dinosaur Tracking
This page from Smithsonian.com lists some dinosaur books appropriate for kids, along with brief descriptions.
- The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs Page
Nyder's site includes photos of all the remaining dinosaurs in their original location on artificial islands outside the site of the original Crystal Palace building at Sydenham.
- Dinosaur History: Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
This Brooklyn College page details not only Hawkins' work on the Crystal Palace dinosaur replicas but also the ill-fated plans to build similar replicas in New York City.
- Build a Dino
This site, part of Project Exploration, follows the steps taken as the Jobaria dinosaur is found, dug up, and prepared for display.
Grade K | Lesson Plan | Unit
This lesson encourages young students to see themselves as writers with a message to convey. Three types of reports are provided to show what kindergartners and emergent writers can do.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students use picture books as framing texts for research, freeing them from the language of encyclopedia sources and allowing them to focus their attention on the content of their papers.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students create alphabet books, which are used as an integrated assessment with science, health, social studies, and any other content area. This lesson plans looks at the theme of community.