Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pterodactyls aren't dinosaurs... who knew?

     I learn knew things everyday in K, but thanks to a traveling suite case from the Pink Palace Museum, my knowledge of dinos has expanded vastly. When I reserved the suitcase this summer I had no idea what I was getting myself into... a 2 ton suit case filled with more dino stuff than I could ever handle... including REAL fossils. I couldn't carry it up my apartment stairs so the weekend I got it, I sat in the trunk of my car going through the awesome materials. If you teach around Memphis it is definitely worth it to reserve one of these suite cases... and the best part is... its totally FREE! I combined the suite case with some of the ideas from Deanna Jump's and Babbling Abby's dino units and my little ones had a blast!

Here is a glimpse at what we did....

      I started off with this awesome idea from Deanna Jump. I created a paper mache egg and then had the students make inferences regarding what the egg contained. The kids got really into this. My favorite inference of all is a tie between caterpillar and walrus. The day before the egg hatched Jordan was just convinced that it was going to be a baby walrus! When the egg finally hatched I decorated our entire classroom with items provided by the Pink Palace Museum and a few odds and ends that I had myself. 

      I do both work stations and "play" centers in my classroom. For this unit all of my play centers had a dino theme. My regular blocks center became a dinosaur puzzle center...

    Home living was converted to an area for toy dinos and a few dino books...

 Dino rubbing plates were placed in the art center...

       Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of my other centers :( Students played a dinosaur bingo game to practice shapes and colors in games center, listened to How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? in listening center, explored dinosaur themed fiction and nonfiction books in reading center, and watched Dino Dan shows in computer center. 


     The suite case I received included models of over 50 kinds of prehistoric animals, with fact cards for each. Each day we learned facts about a different dinosaur and we also learned how to distinguish a dinosaur from another prehistoric animals.  Later, students participated in sorting activity, seperating dinos and nondinos.  NEWS FLASH... dinosaurs DO NOT fly or swim! I had no idea! We wrapped our unit up with the adorable marshmallow bar idea from Babbling Abby. I had a parent donate the marshmallows... Did you know they even make Marshmallow confetti!?!?! The confetti worked really well for this project, so I definitely recommend buying some if you plan to do this activity in your classroom! 



  1. When I teach about texture in my 3rd grade art class, I have the students draw dinosaurs. Then, they fill in their drawings using texture plates, kind of like the rubbing you set up in your art center. I usually have one student who knows more than I do about dinosaurs, but it’s fun!

  2. Sounds cute! Thanks for sharing :)