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Following my students’ interests to DINOSAURS
1 May, 2016. 6 Comments. . Posted By: Kristen Smith

Part 2: Our unit continues

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.

How BIG was a T-Rex? Students used non-standard units of measurement to discover just how big they really were!

I had created these T-Rex footprints quite a few years ago, and brought them in for this group to use.

How BIG was a T-Rex? Students used non-standard units of measurement to discover just how big they really were!

They loved measuring the footprints using non-standard units. They wanted to know how LONG they were.

How BIG was a T-Rex? Students used non-standard units of measurement to discover just how big they really were!

And how WIDE they were.

How BIG was a T-Rex? Students used non-standard units of measurement to discover just how big they really were!

That afternoon, we created our own trace fossils using salt dough and our dinosaur toys.

I love this idea: create trace fossils using salt dough and dinosaur footprints I love this idea: create trace fossils using salt dough and dinosaur footprints

We also watched the Brain Pop Jr. episode on fossils and then wrote about what we learned.

Kindergarten students reflect on what they learned about fossils

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.

kindergarten students can do amazing things-- here they are building a T-rex out of recycled materials

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.

IMG_1740

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)*

Click here to read about the last part of our dinosaur unit!

how science activities can produce amazing writing

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

6 Comments
  1. Hey!

    I adore this unit! You did such a great job, and I’d love to adapt it for my combined Frist and Second Grade class. I’m curious to how you broke up each lesson? Do you have a schedule of the activities and lessons you taught over the 2 weeks?

    Thanks so much for the great ideas!

    Kristen

    • Hi! I’m so glad that you like this unit! I tried to illustrate the different days in this blog post. I have a first and second grade dinosaur pack (available on TpT) that you might be interested in. It has a ton of activities for older kids!

  2. Do you have a dinosaur packet specifically for kindergarten? I saw the one for first and second, but I thought it would be too high for my kinders?

    Thanks,

    • Allison, I’m debating making a kinder focused one. I used the first and second grade unit and modified it down for these lessons. I’d like to make a kinder/pre-k pack in the format I have been using in my recent packets however, I probably won’t get to it until the summer.

  3. Hi! These posts have me so excited to teach my students about dinosaurs! Can you recommend a specific company/product for both the miniature dinosaurs you used for sorting and the larger ones with which you made fossils? Trying to find the most realistic! As well as the source of the Amazon fossils? Thanks!

  4. I loved the idea of assembling a skeleton with TP rolls! We used this in our science class that we teach for kids age 3 – 7. Check out all the other hands-on dinosaur activities we did at https://inventorsoftomorrow.com/2017/01/23/dinosaurs-2/

6 Comments

  • Hey!

    I adore this unit! You did such a great job, and I’d love to adapt it for my combined Frist and Second Grade class. I’m curious to how you broke up each lesson? Do you have a schedule of the activities and lessons you taught over the 2 weeks?

    Thanks so much for the great ideas!

    Kristen

    • Hi! I’m so glad that you like this unit! I tried to illustrate the different days in this blog post. I have a first and second grade dinosaur pack (available on TpT) that you might be interested in. It has a ton of activities for older kids!

  • Do you have a dinosaur packet specifically for kindergarten? I saw the one for first and second, but I thought it would be too high for my kinders?

    Thanks,

    • Allison, I’m debating making a kinder focused one. I used the first and second grade unit and modified it down for these lessons. I’d like to make a kinder/pre-k pack in the format I have been using in my recent packets however, I probably won’t get to it until the summer.

  • Hi! These posts have me so excited to teach my students about dinosaurs! Can you recommend a specific company/product for both the miniature dinosaurs you used for sorting and the larger ones with which you made fossils? Trying to find the most realistic! As well as the source of the Amazon fossils? Thanks!

  • I loved the idea of assembling a skeleton with TP rolls! We used this in our science class that we teach for kids age 3 – 7. Check out all the other hands-on dinosaur activities we did at https://inventorsoftomorrow.com/2017/01/23/dinosaurs-2/

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