Why Did the Dinosaurs Disappear? Day 2 of 2

Print Lesson


SWBAT to ask and answer questions about key details in an informational text.

Big Idea

Many ideas exist that explain the disappearance of the dinosaurs. Today, students will get to explore the different theories of why the dinosaurs disappeared.


5 minutes

Context and Overview

Today, I will continue with discussing the theories of why the dinosaurs disappeared. In doing so, I continue to build students' content knowledge using a couple of different sources. I will guide them in the reading of an informational text on the topic. As we read the informational text, I will highlight the text features: illustrations, headings and subheadings. Students need various experiences with different informational text. These text features are important for students to learn to navigate in order to fully comprehend the text they are reading. They also aid students in their ability to find important ideas and key details about a topic.

Then, students will be reading the second part of the selection from our anthology, Why Did The Dinosaurs Disappear? by Karen Sapp. Students will be recording information about what happened to the earth.

I will gather the students on the carpet for Socratic Seminar. Last, students will have an opportunity to write before we close the lesson.

Opening Activity

After sharing the objective, I will review the chart on what are theories: WhatAreTheories. I believe strongly in the power of reviewing: ChartToReviewTheories. This is an important part of the learning process. I once read that, "what we review, we remember." In reviewing, my students get the opportunity to be confident speakers and listeners using academic language.

Informational Text on the Extinction of the Dinosaurs

20 minutes

For students to be effective at navigating informational text, they need various experiences with different types of informational text and their text features. That is why today, we are revisiting the topic of why the dinosaurs disappeared using an informational text. In using this informational text, I am highlighting certain text features: illustrations, headings and subheadings. Text features are a major component of informational text and students need to effectively know how to glean their meaning. I am using this poster as reference: TextFeaturePosters.

To guide us in this informational text, I use text dependent questions: Dinosaur Extinction Questions-Zoom Dinosaurs.pdf. I also created a template with text dependent questions: Why Did Dinosaurs DisappearedPart Two.docx. The questions explicitly ask what the text says about why the dinosaurs disappeared. As the students look for the answers, they will highlight their evidence: Highlighting. This will help them transcribe the answers unto their templates. They will be using this information in their writing. Here are Some examples:

To further guide them with this informational sheet, I have created a transparency of the sheet, and I am using the overhead projector so that I can model how to find the information we are seeking: TransparencyOfSheetDemonstratingTextFeautres.

I will make sure to walk around to help students with the process too.

Reading the Selection: Why Did Dinosaurs Disappear?

25 minutes

In order to master a rigorous objective, students need opportunities to practice independently, so I try to push the students I know are ready towards independence as much as possible. In this lesson, I have two groups working simultaneously: one group is reading independently and I am working with the other group, which, for now, needs more support.

The students are spending the first 10 minutes reading pages 72-77 in the selection, Why Did the Dinosaurs Disappear? by Karen Sapp. After they finish reading it, they will go back and reread portions that answer the question: what happened to the earth that caused the dinosaur to disappear?The students will take notes on post-its. They will use this information in their writing later on.

My group on the rug (MyGroup) will receive support from me in various ways. Some of them need encouragement to begin and stay focused. Some will need support in how to use the post-its. A couple will need support with reading the text and with transcribing the information onto the post-its.

I am curious about their discoveries: WhatEvidenceDotheScientistsFindAboutIridium.AVI and WhatEvidenceSheFound.AVIMyGroup.JPG.

Socratic Seminar

10 minutes

We meet for Socratic Seminar to discuss ideas about what we learning. Today, the question is "What happened to the Earth that caused the dinosaurs to disappear?"

I review the rules for participation: ChartSocraticSeminarRules. Also, I am including a more detailed account of how I conduct SS in my classroom: Socratic Seminar Rules.docx. Once I pose the question my students know that they can raise their hands to be called on. This is called handing off and I have a chart posted in the classroom to use as reference: ChartHanding-OffDiscussionStarters. 

I say, "I hand off to ________." In this way, I give the floor to the next speaker. This speaker once they are done will hand off. We repeat this process until the time runs out or the question has been exhausted. If the students do have anything else to say, I ask another questions or I make the decision to move on.

Independent Writing

20 minutes

It's time To Write! Writing is an integral part of the learning process in my class. It helps them to synthesize the information. Now students will reread their notes from the informational sheet and their selection to write about what happened on the earth that caused the dinosaurs to disappear: WritingTask. In their writing, I am looking for the show cause and effect. This is a higher order thinking skill.

As they write, I support them in various ways. I give support in terms of how to spell words, how to find information in the text, or simply to encourage.

I am looking for them to use time order words and complete sentences. Here are some examples of their writing:


3 minutes

I gather the students on the rug, review the objective, ask them whether we met or not. Also, I get the opportunity to ask what they learned. I take volunteers. ExplainingHowDinosaursBecomeExtinct.AVI