Dozens of Dinosaurs - Day 1
Concepts to Teach
- Dinosaurs are animals that lived millions of years ago.
- There are no dinosaurs on the earth today.
- Scientists have made many discoveries about dinosaurs by studying their fossils.
- Dinosaurs were many sizes. Some were as small as chickens. Others were giants as big as three or four-story buildings.
- All dinosaurs were hatched from eggs.
- Some dinosaurs were meat-eaters.
- Some dinosaurs were plant-eaters.
- Some dinosaurs lived on land and other dinosaurs were swimmers or flyers.
Preparing For The Unit
- Display pictures of dinosaurs throughout your facility.
- Set up learning center areas with dinosaur activities of various kinds, such as dinosaur puzzles, dinosaur games, toy dinosaurs, dinosaur activity books, and dinosaur coloring books.
- Use your library media center as a resource for films about dinosaurs appropriate for preschool age children.
- Set up a learning center area with picture books about dinosaurs of various kinds, for the children to look at.
- Take the children on a field trip to a science museum that has a display about dinosaurs, so the children can get a better understanding of the actual size of dinosaurs. Perhaps they will also be able to see some dinosaur fossils or fossil prints.
- Purchase some small plastic dinosaurs for the children to use in their creative play.
- Purchase some dinosaur-shaped crackers for special treats during the unit.
Todays Activities: Language - "Dozens of Dinosaurs"
Use the flannelboard pictures for today, included in this month's Provider Pack, for this activity. Show the children the entire set of dinosaur pictures, one by one. Ask if anyone knows what all of these animals are called. Then talk about the fact that we can't see dinosaurs today, because they no longer live, but that we can learn about them by looking at pictures and by reading books about them.
Suggest that the children look at each of the flannelboard pictures with you now, and that they try to find out things about each animal by looking at the pictures. TRY TO BE A SILENT OBSERVER in this activity and let the children make the discoveries themselves. You might want to begin by asking the children to look at each picture and try to find things that tell about the dinosaur. You may want to use some of the questions below if the children need some help. (click on the underlined links to see the flannelboard picture)
- brontosaurus (bron tuh sore' us) - "Can you see anything in the picture that will tell you how large this dinosaur was? Can you see anything that will tell you where this dinosaur liked to be? Can you see anything in this picture that the dinosaur might have liked to eat?"
- stegosaurus (steg uh sore' us) - "Can you see anything about this dinosaur that might help it to protect itself from other animals? Do you think this dinosaur walked more like an elephant or a man? What do you think this dinosaur liked to eat?"
- trachodon (tray' kuh don) - "Can you see any part of this dinosaur that looks like part of an animal that you can see on a farm? Do you think that this animal could fit in a farmer's barn? Do you think this dinosaur had big feet or little feet?"
- pteranodon (tur an' uh don) - "Can you see any ways that this dinosaur is different from the other three dinosaurs? What can you tell about this dinosaur's size by looking at the other things in the picture?"
Math Concepts - Measuring a Dinosaur
Prepare for this activity by gathering measuring tools of various kinds. These could include such things as a scale, a measuring cup, and spoon, a dressmaker's tape measure, a carpenter's tape measure, a ruler, a yardstick, a thermometer, etc.
Encourage the children to try to tell what we would measure with each kind of measuring tool, and then to talk about whether it could be used to measure a dinosaur. Talk about the difficulties you might encounter when trying to measure a dinosaur.
Make your goals for this activity be that the children learn that there are different tools for measuring different things, and that they have practice in using problem solving skills.
Large Muscles - Fly Like a Dinosaur
Explain to the children that there were dinosaurs of many different kinds and that they moved in many different ways. Then talk about the specific dinosaurs listed below. Explain briefly how each might have moved, and suggest that the children pretend to move like each of the dinosaurs as you talk about it. Encourage the children to use their imaginations freely.
- pteranodon (tur an' uh don) - A flying dinosaur with large wings that lived by the sea and liked to catch fish.
- tyrannosaurus rex (tie ran uh sore' us reks) - A large, fierce dinosaur who was often called "king of the meat-eating dinosaurs."
- ichthyosaurus - (ick thee uh sore' us) - It lived in the water and looked like a fish. It had to come to the surface of the water in order to breathe.
- archaeopteryx (are key op' tur icks) - A dinosaur that had feathers but could not fly well. It could climb trees and glide through the air from tree to tree.
Creative Art - Bumpy Pictures
Suggest to the children that different kinds of dinosaurs had different kinds of skin. Some skins were smooth, some were scaly like the skin on some fish, and some were bumpy. Suggest that the children make some "bumpy pictures" by laying sheets of paper over bumpy things and coloring gently over the paper to see what kinds of patterns the crayons make. Some bumpy things might include rough sandpaper, a bumpy board, a comb, a brick, the rough texture of a wastebasket, a piece of screen, etc.
Fingerplay - Ten Humongous Dinosaurs
Ten humongous dinosaurs,
Standing in a line.
One fell down,
And now there are nine.
Nine humongous dinosaurs,
Playing very late,
One went to bed,
And now there are eight.
Eight humongous dinosaurs,
One of them named Kevin,
Tripped on a mountain,
And now there are seven.
Seven humongous dinosaurs,
Doing lots of tricks.
One bumped his head,
And now there are six.
Six humongous dinosaurs,
Learning how to dive.
One did a belly-flop,
And now there are five.
Five humongous dinosaurs,
Pushing through a door.
One got stuck,
And now there are four.
Four humongous dinosaurs,
Stepping over a tree.
One got a sliver,
And now there are three.
Three humongous dinosaurs,
Going to the zoo.
One teased the tigers,
And now there are two.
Two humongous dinosaurs,
Liked to run and run.
One ran too far,
And now there's only one.
One humongous dinosaur,
Cozy in the sun,
Curled up and fell asleep,
And now there are none!