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Terms You'll Dig: Scientific Vocabulary For Jurassic Park

written by: Sarah Degnan Moje • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 1/21/2014

Before delving into a novel, go over some important scientific terms with your students. This lesson includes a power point, vocabulary list and a quiz.

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    Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton 

    As with any novel being introduced into the classroom, it is important to make sure students have the background knowledge they need in order to fully appreciate the story they are going to begin reading. This is most important in a novel that deals heavily with concepts with which the student may be unfamiliar. And, although dinosaurs should be a familiar concept to most high school students, genetic engineering, chaos theory, and other scientific terms discussed in this book might not be things they are familiar with.

    It is imperative that before teaching the novel Jurassic Park, students study and review the necessary vocabulary in order to read the novel. Use the downloadable PowerPoint and downloadable vocabulary sheet created by this writer to review each term. Then, have students make flashcards, with sentences that correctly display the meaning of the term. Finally, use the downloadable vocabulary quiz to ensure student comprehension.

    Important vocabulary terms for this book include:

    • DNA
    • Mesozoic era
    • Triassic period
    • Jurassic period
    • Cretaceous period
    • Paleontology
    • Fossil
    • Vertebrae
    • Mammals
    • Reptiles
    • Amphibians
    • Herbivores
    You might also want to discuss important concepts discussed in the book such as chaos theory and genetic engineering.

    Once your students have the key terms, they can then “track" them throughout the course of the novel, keeping track of how many times each term is used and in what context. Students can even copy sentences from the novel where the word is used onto a classroom “word wall" or bulletin board, in order to keep the meaning of the word clear in their minds and also as a sign that they have kept up with weekly and/or nightly reading.

    Vocabulary is the key to any good lesson and with these vocab terms under their belts, your students will be more than ready to enter the prehistoric world of Jurassic Park.

Jurassic Park: Into the Dinosaur Age!

Jurassic Park is a great novel to teach in the High School English class. Students will begin by learning about some of the science behind the novel and then delve into the story.
  1. Dinosaur Fever! Teaching Jurassic Park With Flair
  2. Terms You'll Dig: Scientific Vocabulary For Jurassic Park
  3. Chaos Ensues! Teaching Jurassic Park via Chaos Theory
  4. Teaching Jurassic Park Using Content Questions