Share it! Science : May 2020

T. Rex Tracks: A Math and Science Activity with Turtle Trails Publishing

I am thrilled to share this guest post from my friend Carla from Turtle Trails Publishing. You may also know her from the excellent learning activities she shares at Preschool Powol Packets and Teaching Without Chairs. Your kids are going to love getting outside and trying this dinosaur-themed STEM activity!

Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the most popular dinosaurs of all time for a lot of reasons, but how much do you actually know about this dinosaur? I have an awesome science + math activity you about T. Rexes for you and your kiddos today!

T. Rex Dinosaur Math and Science Activity

Hi! My name is Carla Mae Jansen, and I recently finished writing A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze, a picture book about the rock cycle (more on that below!). Anyway, since I’ve been working on this book we have been doing a ton of dinosaur activities lately--partly because the book is on everybody’s minds and partly because we all love dinosaurs! Seriously, I think there’s a part of me that will be seven forever.

Anyway, today I’m excited to share this T. Rex Tracks activity with you! It’s a low-prep, easy to do dinosaur activity that has your kids use science reasoning and math skills to create T. Rex “tracks!” 

Simple Supplies:

1- Track Markers (masking tape OR paper OR sidewalk chalk if you’re outside!)
2- Measuring tape or rulers

Easy How To:

1- To begin, ask your kids to guess how tall their legs are. Most kid legs will be 2-3 feet high. Tell them that most T. Rex legs were about 11 feet high! Measure 11 feet high along a wall, and see where the T. Rex leg would be! The rim of our basketball hoop was right at 11 feet...and yes, my 7 year old can climb straight up to it!

T. Rex Dinosaur Math and Science Activity

2- When we did this, I told the kids that since T. Rex legs were so tall, their steps were HUGE! But before we looked at T. Rex steps, let’s see what kid steps look like. Let the kids work in teams to mark a set of kid “tracks” showing at least 10 steps.  Is this different if they run?

3- Ask your kids how many kid steps they think would fit inside of one T. Rex step (or stride). If you have paper, write down their guesses. Since we were outside, we just talked about it.

4- Ask the kids how they can figure out how many kid steps fit inside on T. Rex step. It might help them to know that T. Rex steps when walking were about 5 feet long and when running were about 12 feet long!  According to our measurements, my 4-year would have to 6 steps to keep up with a T. Rex, my 7-year old would have to run 4 steps for every 1 T. Rex step, and my 10 year old would have to run 3 mighty leaps to keep up.

T. Rex Dinosaur Math and Science Activity

How close were their guesses from #3?

T. Rex Fun Fact: Some researchers believe that T. Rexes could have run up to 20 miles per hour, but would not have run faster than that because if they were to fall going any faster the crash would have killed them!

To finish off the fun, we read A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze!

This is my new dinosaur-themed, science-based picture book!  It’s a delightful rhyming story that introduces rock cycle science (complete with vocabulary like “sedimentary,” “igneous,” “metamorphic,” and more!) with fantastic characters and a hilarious story! It showcases the changes that the Earth and rocks on the Earth make as years go by. You can learn more about it, see some of the illustrations, and more HERE! I really hope you love it!!

T. Rex Dinosaur Math and Science Activity

I hope you have a “roar-some” time with your T. Rex tracks!! 

Thanks again for letting me join you, and happy educating!

Carla Mae Jansen

Carla Mae Jansen is an educator, author, and mom who lives in Virginia, USA. She loves going rock-hunting, eating chocolate, and exploring new places with her family. She has a master’s degree in teaching science, and is always looking for something new to learn! You can follow along with her publishing adventures at Turtle Trails Publishing.