Theme Thursday: DINOSAURS Edition

Hey there! Happy Summer!!! I hope you teachers are getting some relaxation and time for you!! I have a new weekly series for you to read, pin to Pinterest, and get inspired for next year! I hope you can get some juicy information from this, as I share my tips and tidbits with you all!!

As I've been reflecting over my past year of teaching, I realized that one of my favorite parts of lesson planning was the themes I used in my classroom! Teaching Kindergarten, I don't have any science or history curriculum, so I choose a science or history theme each week(s) to focus on. We have 20 minutes of time devoted to that subject (either science or history) and then I have also tried to incorporate it in every part of our day! So I've been inspired to share what I've done with you all. Each week I'll focus on a different theme, sharing my tips and tricks. This week, I'm kicking it off with DINOSAURS!!

Every kid LOVES dinosaurs in some capacity, right?! This was one of my most popular themes!! I love teaching about dinos in November, because I can utilize a fun activity called, DINOVEMBER. Have you heard of it? It's similar to Elf on a Shelf, without the creepy elf involved! Parents do this at home, but we can also do this in the classroom! Each day you take your dinosaur toys and put them somewhere fun, doing something silly! So, as seen above, my dinos played with pattern blocks one day. They also wrote a message to my kids on the chalkboard, were caught reading books, and much more!! It's a great way to get your students EXCITED about dinosaurs!!

This idea I got from Marsha - Differentiated Kindergarten. It is the FIRST thing I did for our Dinosaur Unit. She calls it "The Hook". You can read her insightful post HERE, but basically, you make a dinosaur egg, place it in your classroom, create drama and intrigue around it, and throughout the day, the egg "hatches" and out comes the dinosaur!

The how-to on making a dino egg: get a small dinosaur and put it into a balloon. Blow up the balloon. Paper mache the balloon with a flour/water paste, and let fully dry. Paint the egg to make it look more interesting.

Seriously, the kids LOVED this. We made predictions during our morning meeting on what they thought was in the egg. Then, during snack (when they weren't watching), I used an exacto knife to cut the egg, to make it look like it was hatching. During a bathroom break, I broke it open to reveal the dinosaur! They were SO intrigued! =success!

Dinosaur Math Activities
(to use in centers or as whole group activities)

This activity (above) is from Pre-K Pages. Vanessa has SO many great ideas for your dinosaur unit! Here's the link to all her ideas! This Dino Roll and Stamp is a freebie, and the student rolls 2 dice, counts the dots (or adds the numbers) and stamps or colors in the dino with that number on their page! Super simple!

This picture above is not my own. I could have sworn I snapped some pictures of my students' crafts, but don't have any. :( So I'm using Julie from Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten's photo, since she inspired me to do this with my students! Your students make a stegosaurus, and they make a pattern with the spikes on his back! It was PERFECT, as we were learning about patterns in math too! I made up my own paper to go with the stegosaurus, so if you want it, you can download it for free here: Stegosaurus Craftivity Paper.

Here are some other great Dinosaur math resources:

Dinosaur Literacy Activities and Book Suggestions

This is an art response to the book, "If the Dinosaurs Came Back." I got this idea from Kay, of Sommer's Lion Pride. She has a whole blog post on this activity, and I loved the idea! It took some time, and turned out really cute!!! They drew the black/white backgrounds, drew pictures of dinos on colored paper, cut out the dinos, and glued them on the backgrounds. I love how the dinos pop off the page!!

Dinosaur Label and Color

This is a great way to help your students practice turning sounds in their heads into letters on their papers. I have three differentiated levels for pre-k through 2nd grade, and they label the parts of a dinosaur! For the first 24 hours that this post is live, you can get this product for $1.00!! Head over to my TpT Store (click the pictures above or below) and get it for 33% off!!

Other Dinosaur Activities and Ideas

We went on a "dinosaur bone" dig!! I made bones out of salt dough, buried them in the sandbox, and we went out and dug them up! The students were SO excited to find the bones, and I taught them the word paleontologist and told them that's what they were! They had so much fun, discovering and exploring!

We also played Dino Bingo, used playdough to make dino eggs and did some simple adding and taking away. We had to do the Koo Koo Kangaroo Dinosaur Stomp brain break too!!

I also look for music to use for the transitions, that goes with our theme, and this was a favorite!

There are SO many more awesome Dinosaur-themed activities out there, (THANK YOU PINTEREST) but I hope you can use a handful of these in your classroom! Let me know in the comments what your favorite dinosaur activities are! Make sure you grab my Dinosaur Label and Color for it's sale price too!!

Much Love, Allie

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