Curriculum provided by the Tate Geological Museum

The following lessons were designed to fit the Natrona County School District # 1 essential curriculum standards as of May 2012. Natrona County is located in central Wyoming. Lessons were created with the Tate Geological Museum’s exhibits in mind so that teachers and visitors could work outside of the museum to enhance learning and follow-up with museum visits. The Tate Geological Museum is located in Casper, Wyoming. Illustrations by Russell J. Hawley, Tate Geological Museum Educator.

Explanation of State Standard Codes: (ST) 8.1.2.C
(ST) Letters in parenthesis stand for the Level of Cognitive Demand – Key: (R) = Recall (A) = Application (ST) = Strategic Thinking (ET) = Extended Thinking
8–The first number indicates the grade level. Kindergarten is indicated with a K.
1–The second number indicates the Content Standard
2–The third number indicates the Benchmark under the Content Standard
C–The fourth letter or number indicates the Sub Benchmark under the Benchmark, which is under the Content Standard.
These standards are posted in greater detail on the NCSD #1 website



Dinosaur Week Unit

Includes ideas for math, literacy, science, music, art and fun recipes!


Lesson: Dinosaur Eggs

Includes an activity to sort dinosaur eggs and learn about two types of dinosaurs: oviraptor & maiasaura. Discussion includes dinosaur parenting.

Lesson: Sorting Rocks

This lesson introduces students to sorting and classifying rocks through a hand-on activity.

    Second Grade

    Lesson Plan: What do scientists do?

    Conduct an experiment like a scientist: Sink or Float

    Third Grade

    Lesson: Why was the Struthiomimus sedens, the ostrich-mimic dinosaur, so fast?

    This lesson teaches how anatomy affects mobility. It includes an activity that helps students compute their leg ratio and compare it to ostrich and the Struthiomimus measurements to help determine speed.


    Fourth Grade

    Lesson: The Road to Fossilization

    Understanding the NPS Fossilization Poster and Stratigraphic Range

    Lesson: The Rock Cycle

    Learn about igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and how they change through this fun experiment

    Lesson: Rock Exploration 101

    Kids will learn about the scientific process through rock exploration

    Lesson: Create a Dinosaur Illustration and Poem

    Study Dinosaur Habitat included Internet resources

    Lesson: Watching the Video Dee the Mammoth

    Includes discussion questions and classroom worksheet with answers for instructor

    Lesson: Dichotomous Mineral Keys

    Students will use a dichotomous key to identify minerals

    Lesson: Understanding Geologic Time

    Students will create a geologic timeline, mnemonic and draw corresponding life on their timeline.

    Lesson: Understanding Geologic Features – Big Taffy Mountain by Dana Van Burgh

    Using candy, students will gain an understanding of how rock layers were bent.

    Fifth Grade

    Lesson: Drawing Dee & Researching Mammoth Habitat


    2 Lesson Plans that work together:

    What happened to the mammoths? (Word doc)

    Imagine mammoths (Word doc)

    Lesson: Comparing and contrasting elephants and mammoths

    Identifying skeleton bones of Dee, discussion of mammoth and elephant ancestry

    Sixth Grade

    Lesson: Fibonacci Through Time

    Students will apply the Fibonacci principle in identifying prehistoric animal and plants

    Lesson: Women in Paleontology

    A good lesson for March, as it is Women’s History Month. Students will learn about paleontology and the important contributions women have made to the science.


    Seventh Grade

    Lesson: Convection in the Mantle

    Students will explore plate tectonics with this lesson

    Lesson: Self-Guided Tour of the Tate Geological Museum

    This lesson includes a worksheet students to find answers at the Tate Museum, with attached answers for the instructor. In addition, this lesson includes post visit discussion questions for the classroom.

    Lesson: Earthquake Measurement

    The Richter Scale using the Khan Academy Video

    Lesson: Understanding the Theory of Pangaea

    This lesson includes background information regarding the theory of Pangaea and uses an activity that helps students understand the concept. Web links to additional information included.

    • Lesson Plan: Pangaea (Word doc) – not currently available
    • Activity: Plate Tectonics Crossword (Word doc)
    • Illustrations of Animals in lesson (PDF) – not currently available
    • Pangaea Reunited Worksheet (PDF) – not currently available
    • Plate Tectonics Vocabulary list with definitions (Word doc) – not currently available
    • World Continents Map for Lesson (PDF) – not currently available
    Eighth Grade

    Lesson Plan: Comparing and Contrasting Knightia and Cutthroat Trout

    This lesson helps student learn fish anatomy and learn about Wyoming’s state fish. Included are weblinks and a fish anatomy worksheet.

    Lesson Plan: Dinosaur Names – Root Origins

    This lesson demonstrates how dinosaurs were named by exploring the Greek & Latin root words.

    Ninth through Twelfth Grade

    No lesson available

    Fun and Games

    Dinosaur Jeopardy Game

    • Easily accessed online and can be played as a class, projected on your Smartboard.

    Dee-the-Mammoth Jeopardy Game

    • Easily accessed online and can be played as a class, projected on your Smartboard.

    Learn how to Draw Dee the Mammoth – available upon request

    Triceratops Craft

    Make a fun and easy model of a triceratops with the template and instructions – available upon request

    Invertebrate Fun page (PDF) – available upon request

    Make a Dinosaur Food Web (PDF) – available upon request

    Tools a paleontologist needs (Word doc)