March 19, 2011

Dinosaurs By Design

We are notebooking our way through the old testament. When we began out mini unit on dinosuars the boys were happy tracing. Then one day Zak started writing anything and everything he could on scraps of paper, filling in blanks that I had pre-made a word for. The other two were doing the same. I could see they were ready to move along. So I had to make new notebook pages for them. In the end our dinosaur pages have a sort of tale to tell just like the fossils we were studying. We started with these pages from The Notebooking Nook:

For dinosaurs that were not in the set from The Notebooking Nook I made some with images from the internet (gogle the dinosaur's name and the word images) and my Startwrite program.

Another sample page. I am sorry I can not give you a link to these, my startwrite program is being difficult right now and I can not retrieve documents I have saved. Once I get it sorted out I'll update this with links to these pages.

We colored some pictures of dinosaurs.

We traced the names of the 40 dinosaurs found in our 'Spine' Dinosaurs by Design.

Then I created this copywork notebook so the boys could begin copying words instead of tracing them. You may notice we were tracing in cursive and are now copying in manuscript. They seem to enjoy doing both but were not ready to do cursive on their own. We still practice cursive in other subjects by tracing and we are copying now in manuscript. (our history of why we do cursive at all at this age is here)

It took us quite a while to work through all 40 dinosaurs. (about 2 months) We did one a day, and we have history scheduled every day as it is part of our core, so that would be five dinosaurs a week. However to break up the routine and keep lessons interesting I added a few games to the mix. Using these Montessori cards  I made, we played concentration and go fish. I created them in color so you could print them out either in color or  in black and white as we have done here.

Once we were more familar with what picture went with what name we played Dinosaur Bingo to learn more interesting facts about these 40 creatures who were designed by God.

And for the ecnomical price of $1 I found this file folder game last summer at The Dollar store. We bought a few bags of plastic dinosaurs for place markers. The questions helped us to learn more facts about the dinosaurs and the difference between herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.

One of the interesting facts about dinosaurs is fossils. What is a fossil? How it is made? To answer some of these questions we read a book called Dry Bones..and other Fossils by Gary Parker. The illustrations are ideal for coloring so I put them together with startwrite  and made a few tracing pages. I'll update this with links to the pages once my program is working again. Here is a sample page.

From Dinos by Design we photocopied these images and put together and activity of the phases of fossilization.

Last but not least, the boys were each given a 'pet dinosaur' at the very beginning of our mini unit. They were told to listen and learn specifically about this one dinosaur. They learned it's name, what it eats, and other interesting facts about it. Then to finalize our study they each did a little oral show and tell about it. here are T.J's and Max's dino pets.

The end.
Happy fossil hunting!

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