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The question “What if Dinosaurs Returned?” is answered in this classroom book lesson


Language Arts, Science  


1, 2, 3  

Title – What Would Happen if Dinosaurs Came Back?
By – Karma Johnson
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Science
Grade Level – 1-3

Description: Listening Comprehension, Reading Aloud, Writing (Composition)

Purpose: This is a literature/writing lesson using the book If the Dinosaurs Came Back by Bernard Most. Students will create a page for a class book by finishing the writing prompt “If the dinosaurs came back….”


      1. Listen to a story and brainstorm ideas.

      2. Participate and communicate ideas in a discussion about what would happen if the dinosaurs came back to earth.

      3. Create a page for a class book by finishing the writing prompt “If the dinosaurs came back…,” and then illustrating the page.

      4. Construct complete sentences, which demonstrate appropriate capitalization and punctuation.

    5. Focus on one topic; organize writing to include a beginning, middle, end and use descriptive words

Integration: Fine Arts: Children will be able to express their creativity when drawing pictures for their book. Go a little further and do some research on dinosaurs, find out about their habitat, what they ate, or find out what parts of the world they lived at.

Rationale: This lesson is wonderful for children who have an interest or are fascinated by dinosaurs. This lesson will give children a chance to think about dinosaurs and how they lived and what it would be like to have living with us as a pet dog/cat does. I really believe that this lesson will allow the children to be creative and to share/express the imagination to the fullest.



If the Dinosaurs Came Back

      by Bernard Most

      2. Writing paper with the prompt “If the dinosaurs came back, ______________________” written on it, and with room for illustrations.

      3. Pencil

      4. Crayons or Markers

      5. Plastic Dinosaurs

      6. Dino Dome Time Line.

      7. Variety of books on dinosaurs


  • Introduction: To introduce this lesson, set up some plastic Dinosaurs up in front of the room or on a small table. I will also have this dome looking dinosaur time line that the students can hold over their head and read/look about dinosaurs throughout the past/history. Before starting the lesson, I will ask the students “What are some of the things you know about dinosaurs? What do you think the earth was like when dinosaurs where here?” Hold up one of the plastic dinosaurs and ask what they know about this dinosaur. Ask “What do you think would happen if dinosaurs came back?” ( Have a brief discussion, jot the ideas down.) I will then tell the students about the book I want to read to them, If the Dinosaurs Came Back by Bernard Most. I will then start the reading. As I read the story, I will stop, so that we can discuss what has been read, ask them if their ideas have changed any (related to our previous discussion).
  • Body: Before I read the story to the children, I will explain to them that I want them to listen to the story, for when the story is over, they will be writing their own story for a class book about what they think would happen if dinosaurs came back. I will explain to the students that I do not want them out of their seats, nor do I want them playing with things in their desk, that I want them to listen to the story quietly.

    I will read the story to the children. Before beginning, I will explain to the students that they will be writing a class book about this topic after listening to the story. Once the story is finished, we will revisit the ideas in the story.

    As a class, brainstorm a list of ideas of what might happen if the dinosaurs really came back and were part of our everyday life. Write down the children’s ideas as they are given. Then show students a sample of the page for the book that they will make. (Modeling the thinking process, for deciding what they can write about and illustrations they can to draw. Remind them that this is just a model- that you want them to express their ideas.) As the paper to write their stories on is being handed out, explain again that they will be writing their own story for a class book. Ask them to take out a pencil, crayon, or markers.

    Explain to the students what is expected of them, that they are to stay in their seats, that if they want to work in groups that they need to sit as a group, together. That other students will also begin working and may not want to be distracted by all the noise and movement – we must respect those around us. Remind each student that they each need a page for the book, but if they finish theirs, they may create others as a group or on their own.
    As the students are creating their page, walk around the room to help those that may need it, or talk to them about their writing/drawing or just offer encouragement for doing the project.

  • Conclusion: When the students have finished, I will ask them if anyone wants to share what they have written. If yes, they will be able to read their story to the class. We will then discuss a title for the book. As a class, we will brainstorm. The titles the students suggest will be written on the board. Take as many as offered. When suggestions dwindle down, explain that there can only be one title for the book. Offer ideas for choosing one of the titles, e.g. taking a silent vote or by hands. Or you could offer the idea of chapters, and some of the titles could become chapter titles.

    Then collect all the pages to put together in their class book. Leave the book out for display so that they can look at it or share with others.

Assessment Plan:

      As the story is being read, observe to see if the students are listening to the story, showing an interest in what is being read?
      After the story, did the student/students participate and communicate ideas in the discussion about what would happen if the dinosaurs came back to earth.

      I will check the students pages to see if they

        1. Used correct punctuation, capitalization, and structure.

        2. Are writing clear and simple sentences to express their meaning?

        3. Did they stay focused on their writing, the topic they chose?

      I will also make a copy of the book for myself for future reference or display. If possible, make copies of book for all students.


      1) This lesson is a great opener for starting a dinosaur thematic unit and can be expanded in many ways.

      2) Fossils with Play-Doh

        a) Description: Students create fossil imprints using Play-Doh. “Fossils” are formed when Plaster of Paris is poured into the fossil imprints

      3) Dinosaur Diorama

        a) After discussing dinosaurs’ habitat, have the children create one by creating a dinosaur diorama

        b) American Museum of Natural History


      Visit Fossil Halls. See the largest freestanding Barosaurus skeleton. Timelines is a special online computer generated graphical tour which allows students to find out more about the time periods in which dinosaurs lived.

    4) Dinosaur Characteristics

      a) Students will recognize that dinosaurs were not alike. Dinosaurs can be distinguished from one another in several ways: number of legs, size, and skeletal structure and by their diet.


      I actually have been on a spree of creating classroom books and have been doing so on several different interests of the students. I enjoyed this book and had decided to do this lesson when I was creating my dinosaur thematic unit. Unfortunately, I have seen that others had the same idea so I will site them; our lessons do vary in procedure.

E-Mail Karma Johnson !

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