Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dinosaur Activities For Kids

Dinosaur activities - kids love them! These amazing creatures grab the attention of elementary students like none other! It's the perfect theme to capture their curiosity and ensure lots of learning in your classroom.  Here are some ideas your students will love and a great way to incorporate your science standards with writing.

Building Background

In the beginning, it's important to build some background knowledge with your students.  I like to choose a great book to begin the unit like What Are Dinosaurs?  This kid friendly book gives a lot of great information, but won't be too long or overwhelming to young students.

Going On A Dino Dig

Next, I told the students that we'd be working as paleontologists to search for dinosaur bones and create our own dinosaur museum.  We worked together in interactive writing to create a list of things we might find in a museum about dinosaurs.

Then the students donned their paleontologist hats, grabbed their excavation log and we headed out to search for treasures! I made a tray of "artifacts' for each student to have a dinosaur dig.  I filled the tray with little bones (cut apart tiny toy skeletons), small rocks and seashells.  

I also made each student a dinosaur fossil to discover. I used a simple salt dough recipe to create the dough and pressed small dinosaurs into the dough. I filled each tray with sand and gave students spoons and tiny paintbrushes to begin their dig. 

When they completed their dig, the kids graphed their results. 

Fossil Making

Next, it was time for the students to create their own dinosaurs.  I gave each child a ball of salt dough and some tiny dinosaur toys.  They used their treasures that they found on the hunt and the dinosaurs to create fossils of rocks, shells, and dinosaur footprints . We added our fossils to our museum.

Dino Discovery

Finally, we went back outside for more discovery.  I hid dinosaur eggs all over the playground and my little paleontologists were excited to search for their own egg. We brought the eggs back to our room and the students weighed and measured their egg, before putting it in a cup of water to "hatch".  

Build A Dinosaur

The students thought we definitely needed a dinosaur in our museum, so we cut out large bones and put together this huge (almost 6 feet tall!) dinosaur.  The kids labeled the different parts and we hung our giant T Rex in our museum. 

Create A Dinosaur Habitat

The students thought we also needed a dinosaur habitat in our museum.  I helped get things started by creating a background and the kids worked together to make everything else. They used construction paper to make rocks, trees, volcanoes, plants, etc.  We added some small dinosaur toys for the students to play with at the habitat. 

Dino Research

Now that the students had some good background knowledge, it was time for them to research their dinosaur and write a report.  We worked together to complete this large poster about dinosaurs including where they lived, what they ate and what they looked like. 

They read books and watched videos about their dinosaur on Epic Books and wrote their information on their individual dinosaur research page. 

Finally they wrote their own report using this Dinosaur Observation flip book.  

Do you want to give this a try in your room? Adopt A Dino is a project based learning unit that includes complete lesson plans for all of these activities, pre and post assessments, worksheets, graphic organizers and writing templates.