Journal article Open Access

How to use dinosaurs to teach the scientific method, conservation and ethics

Julián Monge-Nájera

Dinosaurs have great educational potential because they fascinate young minds and the general public. The ancient
Chinese, Greeks and Romans explained their fossils with beautiful legends; in the Twentieth century, Jurassic
Park and Walking with Dinosaurs brought dinosaur science to the masses. Here I explain how to make three
inexpensive and simple activities: the first one teaches how to reconstruct the appearance of a dinosaur and its
habitat from fossils and focuses on the requirements of the Scientific Method; it can be done with a computer or
manually. The second is a simple drawing practice that teaches the impossibility of faithfully copying an extinct
species (despite the current proposals for species “de-extinction”). The third activity is a dramatization about
ethical conflicts related to fossils. The article includes activity cut-outs and detailed steps, how to evaluate and
practical advice

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