Every year, paleontologists (those who study fossils or life in prehistoric times) find evidence of a species we didn’t know about before, like a new species of terror bird (Llallawavis scagliai) in Argentina. Its skeleton shows it was ten feet tall!

And, often, other types of scientists discover new animals or species still living that no one knew about. For instance, a new type of shark called the lanternshark was discovered in the Pacific off the coast of South America last year, and now we know about a spider that looks like it has a peacock tail. It has been dubbed Sparklemuffin (Maratus jactatus), according to livescience.com.

MIDDLE SCHOOL WRITING PROMPT: Have you heard of the terror bird or Sparklemuffin? These and other new species capture our imagination. Choose from a variety of prompts on this topic.Now it’s your turn: Choose from the following options.
-If you were to discover an extinct animal we didn’t know about or a new still-living creature, what would you like to find? Describe it.

-Write the journal entry of an explorer or scientist who just found a new creature or fossil.

-Put together a list of the equipment, food, people, and finances you’ll need to make a scientific excursion for exploration purposes. Also, write about what you hope to find there and how you plan to study it.

Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Watson
Photo credit: By National Library of Norway – https://www.flickr.com/photos/national_library_of_norway/5074707782/, No restrictions, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41923935 / explorer Roald Amundsen
Image credit: Sharon Watson

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Drop the Drama: Help Stuggling Writers Jump These 5 Hurdles Are your writers struggling? Do you wish you could figure out why your children won’t write? Would you love to have a peaceful writing class experience?

Help your struggling writers—and you!—by identifying five hurdles to writing. Then learn practical actions you can take against those hurdles.

This article by me in The Old Schoolhouse magazine is also loaded with links to other helpful posts that will give you and your writers some welcome relief.

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