In researching the state of New Jersey I found out it was the site of the first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton, it was just missing a skull.
Haddonfield, New Jersey was the site of the dig, and so that is how the hadrosaurus was named. I was all excited and was going to make that our animal for New Jersey, but apparently we don’t know all that much about it. Mainly because there is no skull found for one, which is leading to a lot of theories that this may not be a separate species. Now, the state of New Jersey is not going along with that theory.
So, in honor of this being the site of the first dinosaur dig I decided to have our own dinosaur dig, you know with 11 kids crowded around my dining room table. I searched my Evernote to find ideas, and all of them took a lot more time to prepare (because of course I decided to do this the night before).
Finally, success! I had clipped a blog post by Monkeyin’ Around that was perfect (scroll about halfway down to find the idea).
When they all got there we first read “Digging Up Dinosaurs,” which I knew from past experience would be perfect for this. As a caveat it does say millions and millions of years ago and all of the other evolutionary stuff, but I just said, “A long time ago,” (in a galaxy far far away).
Each kid got a small tub filled with rice and a pasta shell, about 10-15 penne pasta, 4 macaroni noodles, and 10-15 orzo noodles.
Their job was to dig through the pasta and put together a dinosaur skeleton.
Let me just say this activity was a HIT with all of the kids from the 11 year old girl to my 4 year.
All of the kids asked to take home their rice and pasta mixture, so I gave them bags to put it in.
I will warn you this does require sweeping up afterwards or a good vacuum. If I’d planned better I would have used bigger tubs and less rice, but I didn’t think ahead super well, and these were the size tubs we had.
So, not a perfect project, but really fun.