Frame Ask your students if they have ever made footprints and ask them where they made them (on a beach, in the mud, on a sidewalk after walking through a puddle, etc). Explain to your students that many scientists use footprints, or a series of footprints called a trackway, to follow an animal they are observing.
Focus Explain to your students they will be watching a clip from Dinosaur Train where Buddy and Don follow different trackways. Tell your students to listen and identify what fossil trackways can tell us about dinosaurs.
Follow-Up Ask your students the following questions:
“What Buddy sees the trackway of an animal with three toes, what does he hypothesize about the animal that made the footprints?” (That the footprints belong to a therapod and it has big legs, teeth, long tail, a great sense of smell)
“How many toes does the second set of tracks have?” (Four)
“What does Buddy call a dinosaur that walks on four legs?” (A quadruped)
“What do quadrupeds eat?” (Plants, they are herbivores)
“What have scientists like Dr. Scott learned from dinosaur trackways?” (That dinosaurs stood upright and did not drag their tales)
“What other animals have scientists found fossil trackways for?” (Crocodiles, snakes, frogs)