I read the best book aloud to the students earlier this week. What If You Had T-Rex Teeth (and Other Dinosaur Parts) is a hilarious book that looks at what would happen if people had certain dinosaur parts.
After I initially read this book, I immediately was inspired to use the book in conjunction with a creative writing activity. So, I created a writing template for the students to use. They would choose a dinosaur and the body part that is special to their chosen dinosaur and write what would happen if they had that dinosaur part. Students were encouraged to use their best guess spelling to write about this topic. I love what they came up with!
“If I had a Stegosaurus’ tail, I would roast s’mores.”
“If I had a T-Rex’s teeth, it would be easier to chew chicken.”
“If I had a T-Rex’s arms, I would catch a bunny.”
“If I had a Brachiosaurus’ neck, I would look at a beautiful view!”
“If I had a T-Rex’s teeth, I would chomp up my food in one bite.”
The students loved this activity as much as I did. I love when I can pair a fun piece of literature with an equally fun writing activity!
We returned from our Winter Break, and the students were disappointed that the Kindness Cookie was nowhere to be found. “Will she be back?” they asked. Sadly, the Kindness Cookie has left our campus until next December, as we are jumping right in to our unit on dinosaurs. A student wondered aloud if perhaps a dinosaur would visit our classroom daily and share an interesting fact about dinosaurs. (A GIANT lightbulb flashed in my head!! I just happened to have a stuffed dinosaur stashed away in my supply closet.) Brilliant idea!! I got to work creating fact cards and packaging up Stella the Stegosaurus.
Shortly after Tecolote Tuesday, Mrs. McDavid delivered a very special package.
The students’ expressions were priceless!
Here is what the note said:
If anyone asks, I had NOTHING to do with Stella the Stegosaurus. Sometimes magical things just happen to appear in (or be delivered to) the kindergarten classroom! Tomorrow will be the first official “Stella Says” fact. Stay tuned!
We wrapped up our dinosaur unit with a dinosaur showcase this morning. Parents were invited to attend our Dinosaur Extravaganza where they looked through the math and language arts activities the students completed over the last two months. Activities included measuring life-sized footprints.
Bones with long vowel words hidden on them were excavated.
Students wrote a creative piece about what they would do with a pet dinosaur.
They researched a dinosaur of their choice.
Students classified dinosaur skeletons as herbivores or carnivores based on characteristics they had learned.
The art activities were incredible.
Students sculpted the dinosaur that they researched.
Each student created a glow in the dark, Pop Art-style painting of the dinosaur they researched.
The finale was the premiere of each students’ dinosaur presentation that was created using the Puppet Edu app. I am so proud of the students’ hard work.
I’d say we have a class full of dinosaur experts now!
We are entering the third week of our dinosaur unit. The days have been jam-packed with all things dinosaurs. From dinosaur-themed language arts centers, to a dinosaur research project, to dinosaur crafts galore, students are eating up this unit!
Students wrote a creative writing piece about what they would do if they had a pet dinosaur.
Students learned about and built volcanos!
Students excavated bones (with a twist!) in our sensory table…
The font is so small that I couldn’t even read the long vowel words with my glasses and a magnifying glass! Good thing the children have solid vision!
Students created Perler Bead dinosaurs.
They even have made dinosaurs from several types of food:
And my personal favorite, Dinosaur Pizzas, inspired by the book written by Lee Wardlaw, who visited our Lower School earlier this year.
We went on an exciting field trip to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, where we participated in the learning lab, Meet the Teeth. Students revisited the terms herbivore and carnivore.
The also classified skulls according to the types of teeth each had.
Each student has chosen a dinosaur to research using the website PebbelGo!, which is a wonderful tool for beginning researchers. Students were encouraged to select a dinosaur about which they knew close to nothing. They are working on creating specific pieces in Art Class to go along with their research. We will wrap up our Dinosaur Unit by putting all the pieces together in a short digital presentation that each student will design. Here is a peek at the reports:
Look for a future post with the finished project soon!
We showed off our dinosaur knowledge this morning. Parents viewed dioramas, sculptures, student-made videos and custom dinosaur pillows! Take a look…
This process started back in February when students chose a dinosaur to research using a wonderful emergent researchers database called Pebblego! I created a packet with sentence frames for the students to use to guide their research. Read more about this process here:
In conjunction with art, students painted their chosen animal using the PopArt style of painting. Remember these fantastic pieces?!
Next, students sculpted their dinosaur out of red clay. They painted the habitat in which their dinosaur inhabited and added some 3D flair.
Students then took pictures of these items and organized them into an app called Shadow Puppet. They recorded themselves reading their research reports and created these final projects.
The dinosaur pillow project started back in March, when students illustrated a dinosaur using fabric markers, sewed, and stuffed their pillows.
Teaching to different learning styles using different modailities really offers students a deeper learning experience. They are now your resident dinosaur experts!
And now we dive into oceans!
We measured the length and width of dinosaur footprints using unifix cubes and pattern blocks. Students were stunned with how large the footprints were, especially in comparison to their own foot.
We are wrapping up this unit soon. Students will be paleontologists tomorrow. Wait until you see what they dig up!
We began exploring the concept of subtraction last week using the song Five Green and Speckled Frogs. I had frog volunteers help me sing and act out the song. When it was time to jump into the pond, my helpers jumped back to their spot on the carpet. We revisited the song again today.
We also explored the concept of subtraction using a number line. I made a number line on the floor using blue painters tape and a sharpie. I wrote the numbers 0 through 12.
Next, I gave students a number on which to start and then a number to take away. The students then had to walk the number line and solve the equation.
This was great practice for the independent Math Journal activity I had planned where students solved subtraction equations independently and recorded their answer. To add some dinosaur flair, students used a plastic dinosaur to jump backward along the number line.
There was a lot of thinking going on!
Friday Fun is BACK! Keeping in line with our dinosaur theme, students made a dinosaur snack, a dinosaur sun catcher, and played a dinosaur-themed game.
First, using 1/2 and apple, a stick of Colby-Jack cheese, and toothpicks, students created a Stegosaurus. This activity was great for developing fine motor skills as they cut the cheese into cubes and pinched the toothpicks to push into the apple. Healthy and educational!
Students also painted dinosaur sun catchers. I found these paint pens that the students gently squeeze to let the paint out. Turns out this was another great fine motor activity!
Look at all these beautiful and bright colors!
Students also played a dinosaur-themed game of Chutes and Ladders called Snakes and Ladders. We focused on working together in a fair way to decide who goes first, taking turns, and having a good attitude if you had to slide down the dinosaur bone. It worked out great!
This game will be available during Choice Time, and I anticipate it will be a sought-after activity.
I rolled out the sensory table today. Thank you, Mr. Surber, for loading it on the U-haul truck and bringing it to our temporary classroom! I filled the table with a new item and thought it would be fun to have the students guess what that item was….
Beans! 50 pounds of beans! What better to dig in for our dinosaur unit, then beans! Today, the students dug in the beans to uncover double tens frames.
They counted the number of squares that were colored in and found the corresponding number on the worksheet.
The kindergartners became paleontologists today during Friday Fun. Their task? To excavate chocolate chips from a chocolate chip cookie!
Using professional-grade paleontology tools, like a pick, brush, and small shovel, students worked to carefully unearth the chocolate chips. (Just kidding…students used toothpicks, paint brushes, and fancy square spoons…)
The results were exciting. Many of the students were able to dig out the fossils without breaking the “ground”! They recorded their data:
Most students felt that being a paleontologist is hard work!