Hi! I'm Ayn and I am a Ga. Pre-K teacher, serving 4 and 5 year olds in an inclusive setting. I share my classroom adventures on my blog, little illuminations.
My pre-k students are really interested in dinosaurs this year. We recently completed our cross-curricular dinosaur unit. Today I'm sharing some of the fun ways we learned about dinosaurs.
We love to read and we read tons of great informational books about dinosaurs. Some of our favorites were:
We also love rhyming books and we really enjoyed these books as well!
Music and Movement
My friends over at The Seeds Network have created a fabulous series called "Book and Boogie" and we used their dinosaur movement activities to get our bodies moving. We also took turns moving like we thought dinosaurs might move.
There was a lot of dinosaur related subject matter in the children's drawings and paintings. I also provided some plastic dinosaurs and some extra large stamp pads for the kids to make dinosaur footprints.
We talked about the words: carnivore, herbivore and omnivore and talked about which dinosaurs may have eaten each type of food and the physical characteristics of those dinosaurs. Plant eaters had flat teeth, meat eaters hat sharp, pointed teeth. We played a couple of games where I they stood up and acted like the dinosaur that might eat each type of food I held up. I also gave each one a piece of plastic food and when I help up a dinosaur that might eat them, they stood up.
We also used playdough and small dinosaur figures to make fossils.
Math and Measurement
We learned quite a bit about the sizes of various dinosaurs. Trying to impress upon young children the dimensions of some of the larger dinosaurs is difficult. The numbers are abstract to them, so we actually measured down a long hallway to see how long a Diplodicus (90 feet long) actually was.
The Apatasaur had a footprint that measured 24" x 48". We drew out a dinosaur footprint of that size then took turns seeing who could fit inside the footprint.
We learned about archaeologists and paleontologists and how they make their discoveries. I set up a miniature "excavation station" where students could dig out dino skeletons.
We talked a lot about what the geography of the earth might have been like long ago and talked about some of the things that might have shaped the geography. Volcanoes and dinosaurs just seem to go hand in hand , so we mixed vinegar and baking soda to explode a miniature volcano.
We also read a few books about volcanoes.
Our sensory table was transformed into a dinosaur habitat. The kids really enjoyed playing with the dinosaurs in rocks, sand and water.
Dinosaur toys are pretty durable, so we took a basketful outside to the sand box.
One of the things we learned is that there were some winged reptiles that were present around the same time called pterosaurs. We decorated paper planes to look like pterosaurs and took them outside to let them fly.
One of the kids brought this large walking, moving and roaring dinosaur for us to play with. We went on a dinosaur hunt through the school and took turns riding him!
Our dinosaur unit was fun-filled and jam packed with learning activities, and I'm proud to say that the children learned so much. The more they learned, the more they seemed to want to know. I was so proud this week when I heard some of the kids on the playground planning play strategies. "Let's play dinosaurs. You be herbivores and we'll be carnivores. We'll try to find you and chase you!" All in all, I'd say we had a dino-mite time learning about these fascinating creatures!
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