A WebQuest for 3rd Grade

(Earth Science)


Introduction | Task | Teacher Process | Student Process | Extras Evaluation | Science Curriculum Standards | Conclusion | Credits



Let's explore the times of the dinosaurs. As modern day explorers we will need to inspect some artifacts from the past. In order to find out more about dinosaurs we must look at the clues that they have left behind. FOSSILS!

The Task

The students will:


The Teacher Process

1. Read Fossils by Roy Gallant to the class.

2. Write the key vocabulary on the board or chart.

3. Complete A Trek Down the Paleontologist Path.

Follow these steps:

  1. Pass out chocolate chip cookies to the students.
  2. Tell the students that they will be digging up ancient dinosaur eggs that look just like chocolate chips.
  3. Inquire what else they will need to become a "dinosaur digger."
  4. Tools should be one of the things the students will need. When this aspect is mentioned by a student, pass out the toothpicks and paper towels.
  5. Graph the results of how many "dinosaur eggs" are found when the students finish their dig.

The Student Process

1. Activate your knowledge! See what you already know. Complete the Cloze passage at this site and print it out.

2. Read about fossil dating and record new information in your journals.

3. Find out! Exactly what are fossils ?

4. Read about famous paleontologists here.

5. Explore a large database of fossils types.


6. Print out and complete the table located @


7. Read the following directions. Go to your science station with your partners and complete the experiment. Record your progress and thoughts in your science journals.

Definition: Fossilization is the preservation of the remains or an imprint of a living organism in a geological structure.


1. Pour out plaster of paris into the paper plates.
2. Press items into the plaster of paris and lift them up right away to make impressions.
3. Let plaster dry.

** Normally, fossils are created when an object decomposes. **

4. Paint if you like. Try using different colored paint for each impression.

Extras !!

Do you want to learn more about becoming a paleontologist? Go here :

Explore these great sites if you have extra time. Write about your explorations in your science journal.

Related books

What Ever Happened to the Dinosaurs? , Bernard Most

Eyewitness: Dinosaurs, David Norman & Angela Milner

Digging Up Dinosaurs, Aliki

Dinosaur Bones, Aliki

Dinosaur Time, Peggy Parish


1. Cloze Passage

Describe to the learners how their performance will be evaluated. Specify whether there will be a common grade for group work vs. individual grades.

2. Conduct Oral Interviews with each child. Use the following questions.

1.What is a paleontologist? What do they do? Do they make guesses about the past? What
things do they do to make certain that their guesses are as accurate as possible?
2.What are some other words we use to talk about dinosaurs? Use word tags to remind
3.What did we learn about dinosaurs today?
4.Who can count from one to five? Show me three fingers. Show me two. Show me one. Show
zero fingers.
5.What other things have been found as fossils besides the actual dinosaur bones?
(Imprints of leaves, and casts of footprints left on earth that have hardened over time.)
6.What else would you like to know about dinosaurs?

State of Ohio Science Curriculum Standards

Standard: Science and Technology

2. Describe about the design process and product in oral, written, or pictorial form.

Standard: Scientific Inquiry

2. Use oral, written, and pictorial representation to communicate their work.
3. Read and interpret simple tables and graphs produced by self/others.
5. Ask questions about objects, organisms, and events in the environment that they can answer with scientific knowledge, combined with their own observations.
6. Answer their own questions by seeking information from reliable sources of scientific information and from their own observations and investigations.
8. Record and organize observations made.

Standard: Scientific Ways of Knowing

2. Demonstrate the understanding that science is an adventure that people everywhere can take part in, as they have for many centuries.


The students have explored the Internet and their senses in order to learn more about dinosaurs and their fossils. The student has found several experiments and activities that relate important information about dinosaurs in a fun way.

Credits & References

Gallant, Roy (2001). Fossils. New York, Benchmark Books.

Designed by Rachel Birt

Spring 2002

Bowling Green Graduate Assistant @

The Martha Gesling Weber Reading Center