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Workshop at the Museum
Dino Challenge

Image of a Vagaceratops irvinensis.

This workshop also has:

Academic Level

Ontario: senior kindergarten and grade 1
Quebec: kindergarten and elementary cycle 1


Using dexterity, creativity, observation, expression and association, students work through a variety of hands-on activities while exploring the Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery. With the help of an animator, students will learn what makes dinosaurs different from other reptiles, how they lived, and to recognize the differences between the herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs. Students will also take on the role of a palaeontologist on a dig and reconstruct a dinosaur foot using bones.


50 minutes

Schedule and Cost

  • October 21, 2014 – May 28, 2015
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Workshop starting time: 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 10:55 a.m., 11:10 a.m.
  • And Tuesdays: 12:20 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m.
  • $8 per student for the workshop (tax not included)
  • Second workshop on the same day: $4 per student (tax not included)
  • See if your class qualifies for Nature Express, our financial-aid programme.

Specific Curriculum Links




Science and Technology Exploration and Experimentation

  • Sort and classify groups of living and non-living things in their own way.
  • Pose questions and make predictions and observations before and during investigations.
  • Communicate results and findings from individual and group investigations.

Mathematics Geometry and Spatial Sense

  • Explore, sort, and compare traditional and non-traditional two dimensional shapes and three-dimensional figures.

Grade 1

Science and Technology Developing Investigation and Communication Skills

  • Identify the physical characteristics of a variety of plants and animals, including humans.

Hide the specific curriculum links for Ontario.




Competency 1: Perform sensorimotor actions effectively in different contexts

  • To broaden his/her repertoire of actions.

Competency 5: Construct understanding of the world

  • Exercise thinking in a variety of contexts.
  • Organize information.
  • Describe his/her learnings.

Competency 6: Complete an activity or project

  • Become involved in the project or activity, drawing on his/her resources.

Elementary Cycle 1


  • To explore the world of science and technology.

Essential Knowledge

  • Animal's adaptation to its environment.
  • Foods of domesticated and wild animals.

Hide the specific curriculum links for Quebec.


Accompanied by an animator, the students explore the Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery. Students stop in four different areas of the gallery to learn about the specific characteristics of dinosaurs. Students participate in a series of hands-on and motor-skills development activities, and are encouraged to ask questions. Students split into small groups and work together to understand the how fossils are formed. Each group places photo cards in the appropriate order to depict the sequence of events that lead to the creation of a fossil. For the final activity, small groups of students extract fossilized remains out of a matrix and assist in the reconstruction of a dinosaur foot.

Role of Teacher

  • Help students become familiar with the words from the vocabulary sheet prior to their visit
  • Divide class into small working groups
  • Encourage questioning
  • Ensure that students are able to participate in all activities
  • Ensure that students show respect for each other and the museum as a whole.

Role of Student

  • Examine dinosaur characteristics
  • Understand the formation of fossils
  • Imitate the role of a palaeontologist
  • Investigate
  • Compare and contrast
  • Discuss
  • Participate in role-playing
  • Handle and examine artefacts
  • Place items in a chronological sequence
  • Recognize, compare and categorize three-dimensional (3D) geometric shapes using a model
  • Handle and manipulate appropriate tools and instruments
  • Recreate models based on observations
  • Construct a simple 3D representation based on a model.

Further Exploration

  • Create your own casts using Plaster of Paris or clay. Students can experience first-hand how casts and moulds of bones are made. Once finished, students can observe how casts can be used to preserve and study existing specimens.

Additional Resources

Walking the Chasmosaur. [Online]. Canadian Museum of Nature.
This 3D movie highlights the ways in which dinosaurs move around their environment.

Our Amazing Treasures: Vagaceratops irvinensis. [Online]. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Read about the amazing discovery of a "new" dinosaur.

Natural History Notebooks. [Online]. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Short articles, photos and illustrations for more than 250 animals, notably prehistoric animals.


Information and Reservations

Reserve now!


  • 613.566.4701 / 1.800.263.4433
  • TTY: 613.566.4770 / 1.866.600.8801