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Lesson summary for:
Interpreting the Tracks

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Overview:
Students discover the relationships among foot length, leg length, stride length and speed in bipedal animals that provide clues about dinosaur speed.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
6-8

Time:
Two to three class periods

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Life forms of the past were in some ways very different from living forms of today, but in other ways very similar. (LS4.A)

  • Most species that once lived on Earth have gone extinct. (LS4.A)

  • Fossils provide evidence of past life. (LS4.A)

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence. (P6, NOS3)

  • Scientists use multiple lines of evidence to study life over time.

  • Scientists use fossils to learn about past life. (LS4.A, ESS1.C)

  • Scientists use geological evidence to establish the age of fossils.

  • There is a fit between the form of a trait and its function, though not always a perfect fit.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observations, comparisons, and modeling) to collect evidence. (P2, P3, P4, NOS1)

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

Teacher background:

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