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Dynamic Dinos: Paper Bag Puppets and Cookie Mining

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Biology Volunteer Activities

Students learn about dinosaurs with paper bag puppets and a fossil extraction activity using cookies.

This activity is a modified version of Dynamic Dinos with paper bag puppets for learning about herbivores and carnivores, a PowerPoint with different dino photos, and then the cookie fossil extraction activity that is in the national office kit. There is a lesson and a PowerPoint with a few photos.

What You Need

Materials if being dropped at the school:

  • 2 lunch-sized paper bags
  • Glue stick
  • 4 google eyes per student
  • 5 sharp teeth (cardstock cut out in ~2 inch triangles) and 5 flat teeth (cardstock cut in 2 inch rectangles)
  • 1 paper plate (the waxed ones are fine)
  • 2 or 3 toothpicks
  • 1 unopened package of Mr. Christie mini chocolate chip cookies

Materials if NOT being dropped at the school:

  • 2 paper bags
  • Glue stick, tape or liquid glue
  • 4 googly eyes, or crayons/markers to draw eyes
  • 5 sharp teeth (cardstock or any kind of paper cut in ~2 inch triangles) and 5 flat teeth (cardstock cut in two inch rectangles)
  • A plate or something to put two cookies on
  • 2 or 3 toothpicks or something to use to pick chocolate chips out of cookies
  • 1 or 2 chocolate chip cookies or another type of cookie, like oatmeal raisins, that has something students can pick out. 
  • A dinosaur picture, stuffed animal or plastic animals

PowerPoint:

Guide:

 

Safety Notes

As a Let’s Talk Science volunteer, safety must be foremost in our minds during all activities. As STEM role models, volunteers must always also model safe science practices.

Always keep in mind the following precautions:

  • Emphasize and demonstrate appropriate safety procedures throughout the presentation.
  • Be professional but have fun.
  • Keep workspaces clean to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Check with the teacher about any student allergies to food before being used in the workshop.
  • Activity Specific Safety: Ask students to be careful with the toothpicks as they are sharp on the ends.

What To Do

Activity 1: Paper Bag Dino Puppets

Ask the teacher to distribute the paper bags (2 each), 4 eyes, and 5 sharp and 5 flat teeth to each student. (If the students are at home, just have them get their materials ready)

Starting with a herbivore, instruct the students to make their herbivore.

  1. Take one paper bag and put it so the flap is face-up on their table.
  2. Ask students where the eyes go on a herbivore. Glue two eyes on the flap on either side.
  3. Put a little glue on the top bit of one of the flat teeth (rectangle shaped teeth). Then slip the "tooth" under the flap with the glue part face up and glue it to the flap. The flap should still move. 

Once the herbivore is made, follow the same instructions and make the carnivore puppet out of the next paper bag. Place the eyes in the middle of the flap and use the triangle sharp teeth. 

Activity 2: Cookie Mining

Have the teacher distribute a paper plate, 2 toothpicks, and a package of cookies to each student. Or if the students are at home, get out a cookie or two and a toothpick or something to dig with.

Ask the students to take 2 cookies out of their bag and place them on their plate. Then use their toothpick to try to get each chocolate chip out of their cookie without damaging the chocolate chip/dinosaur bone. Let them know it’s not easy and often takes a lot of time for paleontologists to dig up dinosaur bones without breaking them.

Discovery

Investigate Further

If time permits, you can complete another activity. 

Dino Stretching

“Let’s do some dinosaur stretching! Make sure you have space to grow big! Imagine now you are the tallest dinosaur that ever lived. You have a very long neck. Stretch your neck as high as it will go. Can it reach the ceiling?"

"Put your arms high in the air; imagine now that they are your neck. Reach them as high as possible. Stand on the tips of your toes, be as tall as you can!” 

“Now let’s become the smallest dinosaur possible. Get as small as you can. Maybe curl into a small ball near the floor. Possibly you are a baby dinosaur not yet full grown, or you are still in the eggshell trying to crack open! How small can you get?”

“We have been tall and very small, let’s be the largest dinosaur that ever lived. Let’s be a very quiet largest dinosaur. Make yourself as big as you can! Put your arms out to the sides as far as they will go. Make your mouth and eyes big. Imagine you have huge legs and feet to walk on. What do you see around you?”

“Now slowly bring yourself back to your normal size. You are now a dinosaur with spines on your back and wide eyes ready to watch for predators. Look around slowly; don’t let those spines fall down!”

Investigate Further

If time permits, you can complete another activity. 

Dino Stretching

“Let’s do some dinosaur stretching! Make sure you have space to grow big! Imagine now you are the tallest dinosaur that ever lived. You have a very long neck. Stretch your neck as high as it will go. Can it reach the ceiling?"

"Put your arms high in the air; imagine now that they are your neck. Reach them as high as possible. Stand on the tips of your toes, be as tall as you can!” 

“Now let’s become the smallest dinosaur possible. Get as small as you can. Maybe curl into a small ball near the floor. Possibly you are a baby dinosaur not yet full grown, or you are still in the eggshell trying to crack open! How small can you get?”

“We have been tall and very small, let’s be the largest dinosaur that ever lived. Let’s be a very quiet largest dinosaur. Make yourself as big as you can! Put your arms out to the sides as far as they will go. Make your mouth and eyes big. Imagine you have huge legs and feet to walk on. What do you see around you?”

“Now slowly bring yourself back to your normal size. You are now a dinosaur with spines on your back and wide eyes ready to watch for predators. Look around slowly; don’t let those spines fall down!”

Resources

PowerPoint:

Guide:

 

Resources

PowerPoint:

Guide: