Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dinosaurs have invaded our kingdom!!!

March has just begun and on Monday this week we began a month long mini-unit study on dinosaurs (a dinosaur unit was the enthusiastic request of Eva).  In February, we took the girls to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada and the museum has an extensive dinosaur exhibit.  The girls were fascinated by the huge dinosaur fossils and this prompted a rainstorm of questions.  So, I was more than happy to oblige when Eva requested we study dinosaurs more in homeschool.  That sent me into research and planning mode for the last few weeks of February.  I knew that I could turn this dinosaur science lesson into a full mini-unit study, but I needed to figure out how.  Here is what I came up with...

First, I found an awesome dinosaur curriculum resource that is FREE!  It comes from Learning Page.  To access all the information on their site you need to register, but it is FREE!  For any budget conscious homeschooling family FREE is a wonderful word.  After you log-in on the site you will find so many great resources, but to get to the dinosaur material you click on the tab labeled Theme Sheets and then again at the top on Dinosaurs.  You will find Fact Files, Funsheets (Worksheets), Murals, Cutouts, Lesson Plans, Teaching Notes, and Recommended Reading.  Under the Funsheets Tab you will find the curriculum divided by Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade and Third Grade.  Under each grade there is a section for Math, Language and Science.  Print what you need, grab some great books from the library and you are ready to travel back in time to the age of the dinosaurs.

I was very pleased to find a dinosaur curriculum to use with the girls, but I decided I wanted a few more things to aid our dinosaur study.  So, my second step was putting together a "dinosaur habitat" aka sensory tub.  I got the idea for a dinosaur sensory tub from Counting Coconuts.  The author of Counting Coconuts has many wonderful ideas for sensory tubs...they are very creative.

Here is our "Dinosaur Habitat". 
 Here is what it includes - represents:
fake plant materials - food for the herbivores
moss like pot filler - dirt/earth
a square of green turf - grass
rocks (several different types) - rocks or eggs
beads of many shapes and colors - rocks
felted pom poms - rocks or the red ones could be food for carnivores
pipe cleaners - snakes or foliage
mini dinosaurs - dinosaurs
 I found most of these items at a dollar store or Wal-Mart.
 I have several neat learning activities planned for the girls where they will work with items from the sensory tub, but they also just LOVE to play with it.  We also have a few larger dinosaur toys and they get them involved too.  It has been hours of fun so far and we haven't even started doing any of the planned activities.  I will post more pictures as we begin our sensory tub learning activities.

After I got the dinosaur sensory tub put together I still felt that we needed a few more things to use in our dinosaur mini-unit study.  I found some great dinosaur resources from Montessori Print Shop.  These items include dinosaur cutting strips, match-up and memory game, pin-poking and cutting cards, photo and fact cards.  Very reasonable prices and it is nice that I can just print them from my own computer.

I also picked up the Melissa and Doug Dinosaur Stamp Set and Color-A-Mat and a couple of Ravensburger Dinosaur Puzzles.  One of the puzzles is 35 pieces and will be good for all of my school age girls, and the 100 piece puzzle will be appropriate for my oldest two daughters.

Well, that is how we are getting started with our dinosaur mini-unit study.  Much more to come, including photos of the girls as they are working with the materials and learning about the world of dinosaurs!  ROAR!


1 comment:

  1. Welcome Heather, to the blogging world that is. And Hi from Mississauga and from the Weekly Wrap Up. It looks like you are having a great start on this study and on your blog, love the titles. See you around.