Name That Dinosaur

Which Dinosaur Is It? Name That Dinosaur Activity Sheet

Mixing science with creativity is a great way to spark the interest of students.  A new activity posted on my TpT store is called “Name That Dinosaur”. This fun activity makes a great introduction to dinosaurs. And also explains to students how to research what their dinosaur name means in the “Dinosaur Dig and Research Project” coming soon to my store.  The study of the origin of words, or etymology, is an important part of science.  Every branch of science uses prefixes and suffixes that have specific meanings.  Knowing some of the most basic examples used in science can help students grasp concepts quickly as well as remember information on a long-term basis.  Dinosaur names are no exception to this concept.


Name That Dinosaur Activity Sheet


Dinosaur Names Explained

In the “Name That Dinosaur” activity, students randomly choose three separate terms that are part of many dinosaur names. And then arrange them in an order that makes a full word (dinosaur name).  I encourage my students to pick at least one term that they do not know because picking “di” and “tri” together do not make such an interesting name.  I also tell them not to use an already known dinosaur name.


Meaning of Dinosaur Name

Once they have made up their own dinosaur name, they look up the meaning of each part of the name and write down what their name means.  Students are then to draw their dinosaur based on the meaning of its name.  Some students are incredibly artistic and produce the most spectacular drawings. Others are much less artistic and find drawing cartoon sketches to be easier for them to create.  Several student examples have been part of my product. That demonstrate various levels of artistry, and creativity which can be used to give students ideas.


This activity can be done quickly in class as an introduction or it can be turned into a more elaborate production.  For example, this can be an extra credit assignment where students can earn various amounts of credit for their effort. Or it can become a competition between students or classes to see who can be the most creative.  Check out my store!  Your students will thank you!


This article was originally published at