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Digging up bones

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HARTINGTON — Second graders took on the role of paleontologists Oct. 14 to discover and assemble a stegosaurus skeleton buried at the Hartington Newcastle playground.

As part of a larger unit on dinosaurs, students were given the opportunity to dig up ceramic clay stegosaurus bones. The students learned everything from what the prehistoric beasts ate, to how large of a footprint they left.

Students brought their own shovels and brushes to help them with their search, but they still got their hands dirty.

“I had dirt under my fingernails for three days,” said second grader Malyla Zach.

After digging up the bones, students reassembled them like a puzzle on the floor of the classroom.

When examining the bones, they studied the shape, size, color and length to determine they had found stegosaurus bones.

Art teacher Laura Noecker said the dino dig is a great cross-curricular activity.

The second graders learned about dinosaurs while high school art students crafted the clay bone structures in a three-week process with ceramic clay. Junior high art students participated in the event by burying the bones on the elementary playground.

Second grade teachers Julie Hefner and Kelsey Fincher enjoyed leading their students in the dino dig.

“Their brains go on overdrive while examining, and as a teacher, it is fun to see them so engaged in learning,” Hefner said. “This fun activity stirs curiosity in the students and encourages them to ask all kinds of questions.”

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