Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We Dig Dinosaurs!

In my long term plan for the year I devoted the last 4 weeks of the year to studying nonfiction. After seeing so many ideas in blogland I decided that dinosaurs would be a great topic to help teach this to my kiddos. 

We began our two week study by creating our schema chart. My husband so graciously drew this for me and decided we needed bones instead of using post it notes. After he came up with that idea he decided that he could totally take over and do my job. Ha! Do you ever have things that you start but never finish? This chart fits into that category...We have for sure learned a great deal but I haven't taken the time to finish the chart. I keep saying we'll do it the next day but never get around to it. So, maybe tomorrow!

Before we learned about specific dinosaurs we learned all about paleontologists and what it's like to have that job. I found the idea to excavate chocolate chips out of cookies and we went with it. Everyone got a couple of tooth picks so they could do their picking and each table shared some brushes. I loved how everyone was so into it. Most were very careful and treated the chocolate chips delicately while others just smeared it everywhere. Ha, some people just aren't cut out to be paleontologists I suppose. 

Throughout the 2 weeks we've been focusing on a nonfiction text feature which I plan on blogging about later on. Let's just say I'm totally digging that as well! 

The second week of our dinosaur study we learned about specific dinosaurs. Lately I've really been enjoying having my students keep and add their learning to their own book on a specific topic. I used KPM Doodles dinosaur clip art and created an All About Dinosaurs book that students wrote in after learning about each dinosaur. You can grab a copy here

Here are a couple of examples of my students writing in their dinosaur books. 
I agrere. The velociraptor was not cute at all. 

The stegosaurus ate plants. He couldn't put his head high. Stegosaurus ate short plants. We need to work on rereading our sentences but this student has made great growth from the beginning of the year.

I love 1st graders illustrations. Just look at the look on the T-Rex's face. Intense! 

To wrap up our dinosaur unit we created the T-Rex bones from Deanna Jump's Dinosaur unit. They turned out super cute and really spruce up our hallway after having to take everything off the wall for 3 weeks. 

I've had such a good time learning about dinosaurs this year. I'm definitely looking forward to adding more ideas and trying this again next year! 

Also--please go check out a new blog by an awesome Kindergarten teacher at my school! Ms. A's new blog is called Ms. A to Z and it's very cute! (She made the header and everything on her own...I definitely need to learn from her!) Towards the beginning of the year I noticed something from Cara Carroll on her bulletin board and I knew we were going to be friends. :) She's very dedicated and has great ideas so please go follow her. Have a great week! 

9 1/2 days left! 

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