My students were very interested in just how BIG the dinosaurs were. We did quite a few measuring activities this past week to help my students visualize how big the dinosaurs were. We used the hallway to measure out the length of a triceratops, the neck of a diplodocus (using rulers), and then came in to measure a T-Rex’s footprint.
I had created these T-Rex footprints quite a few years ago, and brought them in for this group to use.
They loved measuring the footprints using non-standard units. They wanted to know how LONG they were.
And how WIDE they were.
That afternoon, we created our own trace fossils using salt dough and our dinosaur toys.
We also watched the Brain Pop Jr. episode on fossils and then wrote about what we learned.
The next day was Friday. This afternoon we went all out and created a skeleton of a T-Rex. My friend Darla’s class created an AMAZING T-Rex that I knew my class would love to try to make. I showed them her class’s picture and the enthusiasm mounted. My students could not wait to get to work on our own T-Rex. They decided that they wanted to leave the toilet paper and paper towel rolls brown “because that’s what the fossils looked like in our books” and on the Natural Museum of History app that we had been looking at.
We split into three teams and began our exploration centers. One group at a time, we tackled a part of the T-Rex.
Each group was responsible for cutting, measuring, and adding their bones to our skeleton. To begin, we started with the spine and then went from there. We used white Elmer’s glue to attach the “bones” to the butcher paper. It was really neat to see a leader emerge from each group of students and the collaboration that took place during the process. To say they loved this is an understatement.
It took about an hour and a half to complete him. I let him dry over the weekend and he is now proudly hanging in our hallway. The kids are so proud of their hard work. They rest of the school loves it, too!
*If you do not follow Darla’s instagram and blog, make sure you look her up. She’s incredible!! (blog: Inquiring Minds: Mrs. Myer’s Class)*
Part 1: The unit begins http://adayinfirstgrade.com/2016/05/following-my-students-interests-to-dinosaurs.html
Part 2: Our unit continues http://adayinfirstgrade.com/2016/05/following-my-students-interests-to-dinosaurs.html/2
Part 3: Culminating the unit http://adayinfirstgrade.com/2016/05/following-my-students-interests-to-dinosaurs.html/3