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Is It a Dinosaur?

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This material was originally created for On the Cutting Edge: Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
Jonathan Geisler, Georgia Southern University
Course: Dinosaurs, Extinctions, and Disasters
65 students
Students are more likely to remember a definition when they have struggled to figure it out, first.

The Activity

One of the major misconceptions students have about dinosaurs is that anything large and extinct is a dinosaur. I show them a series of pictures of extinct animals and ask them to decide if it is a dinosaur or not. Some are easy while others are more difficult. After they are "stumped" a few times, then I go on to show the features that characterize all dinosaurs.

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