Smaller Than You Think

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Learners compare a life-size drawing of a Tyrannosaurus rex head and a full-size Sinornithosaurus body to understand that dinosaurs varied in size. Learners trace individual pieces of a dinosaur on paper and then work together as a group to arrange the pieces of the "puzzle". This is an opportunity to understand scale drawings as well as learn how to work as a group.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • paper, cut to 6"x6"
  • scissors
  • tape
  • pencils and black markers
  • printout of grids of a Tyrannosaurus Rex head (p3 of PDF)
  • printout of grid of a Sinornithosaurus body (p4 of PDF)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth's History
      • Dinosaurs
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Evolution
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
    • Representation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, American Museum of Natural History, 2007