I signed up for the Read Around the Planet collaboration project on the CAP (Collaboration Around the Planet) Space Website.  I was paired up with an educator from Louisiana to share some learning and literature with.  The other educator was a science teacher learning about fossils and wanted to theme our video conference around dinosaurs.

This reminded me of a geocaching project I had seen in the Educaching resource.  The idea was to read the picture book, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins.  It is about Waterhouse Hawkins, an artist, who created the first life sized models of dinosaurs based on fossils.

The students then go out geocaching and collect “fossils” from the each cache to create their own 2D dinosaur skeletons.

This is where I started to expand the project from it’s original idea.  The student used a collection of dinosaur bones to build their diagrams, then I gave them modeling clay to create 3D models based on their 2D diagrams.  This was a difficult shift in perspective for them.  They had to add depth and dimension, and modify their designs so that they would actually stand up!  Scaling the dinosaur down from a 11 1/2 x 17 inch diagram to a 10 cm model (we’ve been working on metric to imperial conversion so I often use mixed measurement systems to have them relate back and forth)  was very difficult for the students, they often exaggerated one part of the dinosaur such as the head or legs.

I always like my students to have an audience for their work so our Read Around the Planet collaboration was the perfect opportunity to show off our creations, and explain the process of our creations.  The presentation by the class in Louisiana allowed us to enhance our learning by looking at some of the science behind fossils and how they are formed.  Their presentation complimented our learning nicely.