Dinosaur Week!

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! This is going to be a fun week! Dinosaurs seem to captivate all children. Maybe because of their immense size, that they look like huge lizards, or maybe because they no longer exist. Whatever the reason, incorporating dinosaurs into our lesson this week is going to be so much fun!

In order to alleviate any fear of these violent, meat eating creatures, begin by explaining that the dinosaurs have been extinct, or that none live anymore, for a very long time. The dinosaurs were on our Earth long before any people were here! The only parts of them left for us to see are their bones. Their bones are called fossils. Special scientists, called Paleontologists, have dug up their different bones and put them together like a puzzle! Once they have the body of the dinosaur put together, they can make guesses about what their skin looked like. Many museums, which are places you can visit to see dinosaur fossils up close, have added the skin to the skeletons so you can see what they may have looked like.


Dinosaur Charting
Talk about how many different kinds of dinosaurs there were. There were all different kinds! Meat eaters, plant eaters, omnivores (eat plants & meat), ones that fly, ones that swim, ones that walk very slowly and some that run very fast!
Make a chart to hang on the wall for the discussion. Label down the left side things like: runs fast, walks slowly, eats meat, eats fish, eats plants, eats both, swims, and flies. Talk about some of the different dinosaurs. Ask them if they know the names of any. Talk about the dinosaurs they suggest. Ask them what they know about them and place them on the chart in the correct categories. Give them some examples yourself and chart them. Review the chart when you have it filled in. The chart will help them see that there were lots of dinosaurs, all with their own special characteristics. Just like the animals of today!

Visit http://www.kidsdinos.com/dinosaurs-for-children.php?category=Animals (Contemporary With Dinosaurs) for information to help you with this activity.

I have also created some dinosaur flashcards to help with this week's lessons: Dino Flashcards

LETTER: B b for Big

Dinosaurs (a lot of them) were BIG!

Print the B is for Brachiosaurus color page. Brachiosaurus was certainly BIG! Talk about the sound that B makes, trace the letters with your finger and then with a crayon. Color the page!


Short I, ig and ip

This week's reading activity will require some spring clothespins. It doesn't matter if they are plastic or wood, as long as you can write a letter on it. This activity has the same premise as the magic spoon activity last week. You will also need some free paintsticks from Walmart or a hardware store. Write ig on one paintstick and ip on another. Draw a star or a happy face just before the letters to show where they should attach the clothespin. Write the letters B, D, H, L, P, R, S, T, W, and Z individually on the clothespins.

Talk about the sounds that ig and ip make. Say them out loud a few times. Then review the clothespin letter's sounds. Show them how placing the B on the ig stick makes the word Big! B-ig. Continue to work through the letters with the sticks to make new words. Sound each one out several times as you go.

Work on ig and ip on Starfall this week.

Work on the Short I section on Readingbear.


Paleontologists are dinosaur scientists! They are the people who dig up dinosaur bones, or fossils, and learn everything they can about the dinosaurs. They will put the bones together like a puzzle to figure out what the different dinosaurs looked like when they were alive. Since the dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth before people were around, no one has ever seen a real, live dinosaur. Many of the images and ideas about dinosaurs are guesses that Paleontologists have made. By studying the fossils, they are able to make pretty good guesses!


Dinosaur Dig!

Super fun activity! This is great if you have a sand table or box, but you can put sand or dirt (or even rice, beans and quinoa) into any container and it will work! You can get a bunch of little plastic dinosaurs at dollar stores usually, or sometimes at Wal-Mart. You can even find some little dinosaur bones sometimes! Stick a bunch of the dinosaurs under the sand in various places.
Tell the kids that they are going to act as Paleontologists today and dig for dinosaurs! Provide them with little plastic shovels, sifters and some paint brushes and allow them to CAREFULLY dig for the dinosaurs. Remind them that they must be very careful so they do not hurt the fossils. You can also provide a few small boxes or baskets for them to place their finds. To make it more challenging, place a picture on the front of the basket or box and ask them to sort their finds into the correct boxes.


Big & Small Activity

This is another sorting game. Choose various objects of different sizes. These objects can be whatever you want, legos, balls, books, stuffed animals, or even crackers! You will need a box for BIG objects and a box for SMALL objects. Show the kiddos one of the big items and 1 of the small items. Talk about how one is big and one is small. See if they can guess which is which. Next, place the items all jumbled up on the table and allow the kids to take turns deciding which box their object should go into. As they place items into the correct boxes, talk about why each item is big or small. 

Dino Sticker Counting

Print the counting grid we have used in the past lessons HERE.  This time we will count BACKWARDS from 5 to 1. Write the numbers 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 along the left side of the paper. Provide the kids with some dinosaur stickers and ask them to place the correct number of stickers on the grid next to their corresponding number.

This is using erasers and is counting forward, but you get the idea!


Making Fossils

Not all fossils are of bones! Many fossils are impressions of something left in the dirt that then hardened over a long time. Scientists have found fossils of plants, feathers, insects, foot prints, and seashells. Today we are going to make our own fossils!

Materials Needed:
Air Dry Modeling Clay
Items to make impressions such as shells, leaves, sticks, something to make footprints with, etc
Paper plates

Give each child a plate and a ball of the clay. Help them smoosh their clay flat onto the plate. You could use rolling pins if you wish. You want the clay to be about ¼" thick so that it is thick enough to hold the impressions but not so thick that it takes a long time to dry. When their clay is ready, provide them with choices of items that they would like to make a fossil of. Help them to make an impression of the items they have chosen. These will need to dry for about 24 hours.
Tomorrow you can come back to them and paint them! When they are all done, allow them to really explore their fossils and remind them this is how the Paleontologists have found many fossils of things that are no longer around!

You can see some fossils by looking at this link: http://www.kids-dinosaurs.com/pictures-of-dinosaur-fossils.html


Available on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/How-Were-Dinosaurs-Bernard-Most/dp/0152008527

This book is very helpful when trying to help young children understand how BIG a lot of the dinosaurs were!

Available on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Digging-Dinosaurs-Lets-Read-Find-Out-Science/dp/0064450783/ref=pd_sim_b_2

This book will help children understand what happened to the dinosaurs and why and how their bones are now found buried in the ground.



Dino Skeletons!
(from pre-kinders.com)

Materials Needed:
Construction Paper
Several kinds of dry pasta
Glue (white school glue is best for this one)
Printable dinosaur (http://www.prekinders.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/dinoskeleton.jpg)

Print the dinosaur for each child. Provide the dinosaur puzzle and a piece of construction paper for each child. Help them to put the dinosaur together and glue to the paper. Next offer a selection of dry pasta for them to glue to the picture in order to make it look like a dinosaur skeleton!


Dino Feet!

Materials Needed:
Craft Foam Rectangles in various colors


Cut triangles out of the toe side of the feet. Use the leftover triangles from another color as the "claws". Cut the leg holes as pictured. VERY IMPORTANT!! You must place a sturdy tape on the bottom side around the holes or the holes will get torn to pieces really quickly! These are not made to last long, but to keep them usable for longer than a couple minutes, you have to reinforce the leg holes!!

Allow the kids to pick the colors they want and glue the claws to the toes. Once dry, put them on and stomp around like dinosaurs!


Dinosaurs of Long Ago

The Dinosaurs lived long ago,
And walked like this, and that. (Walk heavy like Dino's)
Some were large (Stretch arms apart.)
And some were small. (Squat down.) Some liked water (Swimming motion)
And some liked land (Stomp feet.)
Some had wings that flapped and flapped. (Flap arms)
Some had long necks that stretched and stretched (Put hand above head)
The meanest, rudest one of all was ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex
These were the Dinosaurs of long ago.
Goodness gracious! Where did they go?


Fossil Crackers with Dino Topping

Ritz crackers
Laughing Cow cheese
Items for making impressions in the cheese such as goldfish crackers, celery leaves, pretzel sticks, etc

Allow the kids to spread some of the cheese on some crackers. Provide them with the other items and tell them you are going to make some fossil crackers! Press a goldfish into the cheese to make a fish fossil! Make as many different types as your imagination allows.

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