ABCs - Write a list of
dinosaur names on a chart or on the board. Have students put the names in
Word Wall - Create a large
dinosaur out of bulletin board paper and attach to the wall. Add
Dinosaur Word Wall header. Write vocabulary words on the wall as
they learn new concepts.
Digging for Dinosaurs
- Read Digging for Dinosaurs by Aliki to the students. Explain that
paleontologists are scientists that study dinosaur bones. Then have
students do their own digging by using chocolate chip cookies, a
toothpick, and small paintbrushes. The students need to "excavate"
the chocolate chip cookies using the toothpicks.
Mural - Create 3 murals
based on the Triassic Period, Jurassic Period, and the Cretaceous Period.
Have students paint the murals and add dinosaurs that existed in the
different time periods. Go to
www.zoomdinosaurs.com to get a list of dinosaurs that existed in each
Fossil - Show students a
real fossil if possible. Then have students create their own using
clay. Let the clay harden. Then have students compare
fossils and gather information from the fossils.
Fossil Finds - Have
students learn geography and about the continents by showing students
where dinosaur fossils have been found around the world. Create a
large map and label the continents. Give students small pictures of
different dinosaurs to color and cut-out. Glue the dinosaurs on the
continents on which their fossils have been found.
A Name? - Make a chart with
a list of prefixes and suffixes of dinosaur names. Explain how
dinosaurs are named for certain characteristics. Then give students a list
of dinosaur names. They will write the meaning of the dinosaur
names, such as Tyrannosaurus Rex= tyrant lizard king.
Your Own Dinosaur - Use the
chart from the activity above. Have students create their own
dinosaur by combining the prefixes and the suffixes. Then, have
students brainstorm characteristics of the dinosaur, such as the period it
lived in, how big it was, what it looked like, what it ate, how it walked,
and etc. Then they will draw a picture of the dinosaur based on it's name
and characteristics. Using the words from the brainstorm, they write
a paragraph about their dinosaur. Once everything has been edited,
have students make a poster of their dinosaur with the paragraph at the
bottom. Hang up posters around the classroom or in hallway.
Graph your Favorite Dinosaur
- Pick 4-6 dinosaurs that are popular with the students. Have them vote on
their favorite dinosaur. Write the tally and create a graph based on
the results. Then create questions based on the graph for students to
answer. Other types of dino graphs: Tallest Dinosaur, Scariest
Dinosaur, Smallest Dinosaur, Heaviest Dinosaur.
Understanding Dinosaur Measurements
- Pick several dinosaurs of varying sizes. Take students to the
playground and have them draw with chalk the height of each dinosaur using
measuring tape. Have students lie next to their "drawings" to
compare heights. Then have students line up along the dinosaurs to find
out how many students it would take to reach the height of the different
Understanding Dinosaur Weight
- Pick the weight of a heavy dinosaur (or a favorite dinosaur). Bring in a
scale and weigh each student. Average out their weight. Then
see how many students it would take to measure up to the dinosaur.
Dinosaurs - Have students
create dinosaurs using geometric shapes. Let students cut out
circles, triangles, and squares of differing sizes and colors. Have
them piece together a dinosaur and glue to construction paper. With
crayon, have them create a background for the dinosaur.
Hanger - Create a flying
pterandon using a hanger. Wrap the hanger, including the hook, with
brown butcher paper. Create an eloganted head and glue to the hook part of
the hanger. Add wings and feet and have the pterandons fly through
the classroom hanging from the ceiling.
Dinosaur Skeletons -
Create dinosaur skeletons using white pipe cleaners. Place completed
skeletons in a museum setting.
Dinosaur Eggs - One
type of fossil is dinosaur eggs. Have students create their own,
very large dinosaur egg using balloons and paper maiche. Once the
egg dries, have students paint the it to look like an egg. Create a
nest out of hay or straw (found at A.C. Moore or Michael's) and place
dried eggs inside. Place in the dinosaur museum.
Dino Estimation -
Place dinosaur crackers/candy in a jar. Have students guess how many
dinosaurs are in the jar. Award the winner a dinosaur
pencil/sticker, etc. and have the kids share the candy among them.
Adjectives - Show a large
picture of a dinosaur to the class. Have students brainstorm words that
describe the dinosaur, including words on size, shape, color, etc. Then
have students create sentences using as many of the listed adjectives as
they possibly can. From there, students can create vivid dinosaur stories.
Past-Tense Dinosaurs -
Teach students about past tense by having them write a paragraph on a
dinosaur. Explain to students that dinosaurs existed in the past and
are no longer present. Therefore, when they write their paragraph,
they must remember to use past-tense verbs in their writing. Edit
the children's work when they have completed their writing.
Different - Using pictures
of two dinosaurs (preferably a meat-eater and a plant-eater), create a
Venn diagram to display what makes the dinosaurs different and alike.
Dinosaur Concentration - Create dinosaur cards
by cutting out dinosaur clipart and gluing them to index cards. On
separate index cards write the names of the dinosaurs. Have students
match the pictures with the names. You can also use these cards as
Ordinal Numbers -
Place dinosaur shapes or cards in an envelope. On a piece of paper,
write instructions to the students having them place the dinosaurs in a
certain order. For example, T-rex is first, apatosaurus is
second, etc. This is a great way for students practice their ordinal
Flashcards - Create
math flashcards using dinosaur shapes. You can use small stickers,
clipart, or a stamp and index cards to create these flashcards.
Create one stack for addition and one stack for subtraction. An
example would be to show 3 dinosaurs + 5 dinosaurs = .
Dictionary - Using the
words on the word wall, assign 1-2 students every day to this center to
create a dinosaur dictionary. Have students write the word, the
definition, and create an illustration of one vocabulary word on a sheet
of paper. Then, they attach the paper to a binder or place in a folder.
Once it is complete, bind the dictionary complete with a cover. Place in
Basket - In this basket,
place coloring sheets of dinosaurs which can be found in a 99 cent store.
I add problems or skills to each coloring page so that it is not just a
coloring activity but a reinforcement activity.
Dinosaur Journal -
Place a notebook or themed journal in the center. Invite students to write
inside the journal about things they have learned, their thoughts on
dinosaurs, how they feel, what they want to learn, and more. This
will make a great momento for you and will help you plan a better unit for
the following year.