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Triceratops Traits

This new, standards aligned investigation uses an impressive collection of ceratopsian fossils from the Natural History Museum of Utah's paleontology collections to support students in their work to analyze and interpret data from the fossil record central to their research question. Specfically, students will identify patterns and phenomena that illustrate the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of ceratopsians over the 100 million years they lived on Earth. The investigation is organized in sections that make it easy for students to complete over several class periods and using a pacing that works best for you and your students.

Target Audience: 6th-8th Grades

Standards Alignment:
Utah SEEd Standard 7.5.2, NGSS Standard MS-LS4-1, and an array of ELA Common Core standards.

 

Ceratopsians Investigations:

Triceratops Traits

Total Estimated Time: 3-5 class periods, 2.5-4 hours

Paleontologists, including a leading expert in horned dinosaurs, lead students through this phenomenon-based investiigation to understand the evolutionary pathway that lead to Triceratops. Students will study use the fossil record and use a suite of interactives to evaluate shared traits, phylogenetic trees, and deep time maps to build an evidence base to help them answer their research question. Along the way, they'll earn a virtual field tool kit and a NHMU Junior Paleontologist certificate.

LAB LEVEL 1: SORT
Who’s got that trait?
(30-45 minutes)
LAB LEVEL 2: SELECT
Who is related to whom?
(20-30 minutes)
LAB LEVEL 3: CHART
How are they related?
(30-45 minutes)
LAB LEVEL 4: CONNECT
Where did they live?
(30-60 minutes)
LAB LEVEL 5: SHARE
How did Triceratops evolve?
(40-60 minutes)

 

 

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