Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Dino's Diner

Susan Mercer


Students create a modern day dinosaur menu to generate creative ideas regarding what dinosaurs would eat at an imaginary restaurant.


The student generates ideas before writing on self-selected topics and assigned tasks.

The student makes a plan before writing the first draft (for example, drawing pictures, using graphic organizers).

The student focuses on a central idea and groups related ideas.


- Various library books on dinosaurs
- Writing folder
- Brown paper bags (cut in scalloped edges and stained with tea)
- Black marker
- Crayons
- Dinosaur stencils
- Chart tablet
- Teacher example of a dinosaur menu
- Dinosaur graphic organizer sheet (see file)
- Dinosaur scoring rubrics (see file)


1. Collect grocery bags from a local store, scallop cut and tea-stain enough bags for class groups. (To tea-stain a grocery bag, just boil some tea. Let it sit, and use a sponge to apply it to the grocery bags. If you crumple the bags, you get a better effect.)
2. Run one copy of the scoring rubic for each student.


Day 1
1. Review the difference between plant-eating and meat-eating dinosaurs by having students brainstorm a list of those particular types of dinosaurs. Record these responses on chart paper.
2. Ask the students what they think dinosaurs would eat today if they had to eat at a restaurant based on their natural diet.
3. Students record their responses in their writing folders.
4. Assign students to a partner to create a dinosaur menu for a dinosaur restaurant.
5. In their groups, the students decide on which dinosaurs their restaurant will cater to (i.e. plant-eaters/meat-eaters).
6. Then they will take their web organizer and divide their menu into breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods.
7. Using their writing folders, they will decide on prices for each item listed on their menu and what type of payment they will accept. (i.e. shells, rocks, branches, etc.)
8. Next, each individual group will generate a list of 3 names for their restaurant and decide on one.
9. Next, the groups bring their writing folders and web organizer to conference with the teacher for editing and clarity of ideas before recording onto the tea-stained bag.
10. The teacher assigned writer in each group begins to write the restaurantís name and menu items with prices on their tea-stained paper bags, using a blackmarker, while their partner, the illustrator, creates sketches for their menu in the writing folder.
11. When the writer/scribe is finished, the illustrator transposes the sketches in color onto the tea-stained grocery bag.
Day 2
1. Each group presents the menu to the class. The class will then respond as to what they liked and didnít like about the menu, as well as, if the food selection would hold true to the type of dinosaurs they would be serving(i.e. Brontosaurus Salad and a T-Rex Triceratop Burger).
2. The teacher would then conference with each group and score their projects using a scoring rubric (see file).


The teacher reviews and assists students in each group with editing of spelling and grammar on their menus during the teacher conference.
The studentís final product is then evaluated using a scoring rubric in which students should get 3 of the 6 points in order to show an understanding of these standards.


This is a middle lesson used in a dinosaur unit. Be sure students have an understanding of various methods of payment for an item and have prior knowledge of the differences between meat-eating and plant-eating dinosaurs.

Web Links

Web supplement for Dinoís Diner

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