Thursday, February 28, 2013

Unit Theme: Dinosaurs

Bible Verse

Ephesians 6:10 - Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.

Dinosaurs were strong and mighty, but there is even more strength and might in the LORD!  And apparently, rainbow dinosaurs are the coolest...

Unit Books

If the Dinosaurs Came Back by Bernard Most; My Gigantosaurus Book of Colors by Jan Lewis; Dinosaurs! by Gail Gibbons; Harry and His Bucketful of Dinosaurs and Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School by Ian Whybrow; Little Rex, Big Brother by Ruth Symes; Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton; Volcanoes by Stephanie Turnball
Also, Caleb and I have been reading the 1st book in the Magic Tree House series...Dinosaurs Before Dark, which has been a fun fictional tie-in to our dinosaurs week.

The topic of dinosaurs can be a "touchy" one for Christians.  A lot of the information surrounding the existence of dinosaurs contradicts the Truth found in God's Word.  Big Bang/Evolution vs. Creation.  Issues with timing.....millions and millions of years ago, really?  While I am not anti-dinosaur, and I don't want to deny their existence, I absolutely do not want to contradict what my kids know to be true about God and the world He created.  That is always always always the most important factor in anything we might be learning about.  So, there are parts of non-fiction text that I don't even read to them.  And, there are times in which we will have conversations about how there are some people who believe things different than what we believe.  But this week, we kept things simple in regards to this potential clash.  I am surely no scientist OR theologian.  But, we do know these things to be true - God created all things, and only He knows all things!

 If the Dinosaurs Came Back...

 This was a really fun book.  After we read it together, the kids wrote about what they would do it the dinosaurs came back!

Caleb wrote: If the dinosaurs came back...I would ask them if they could give me a ride.
Meredith dictated a couple of sentences to me before demanding that I tell her how to write it herself: If the dinosaurs came back...I would say hello.  I would talk to them.  I love to play with them.

KWL Chart

At the beginning of the week, the kids (mostly Caleb) brainstormed some things that they already knew about dinosaurs.  Then, I prompted him to think of something that he wanted to know.  He said that he wanted to know where dinosaurs lived.

I accidentally highlighted the wrong word in the "W" section - W is supposed to be the word "want"!  I should know this....I've done quite possibly hundreds of KWL charts in my lifetime!
 By the end of the week, he had learned the answer to his question - that there is evidence that dinosaurs lived on all of the 7 continents.

Science: Volcano Experiment

One night, we made a classic baking soda & vinegar volcano.  We followed these steps, and it turned out great.  The only change we made was that we made ours a bit smaller than the directions suggested (we used an old vitamins bottle instead of a pop bottle).  It was so fun.

Here's the volcano pre-eruption.

Patiently waiting for the explosion...

Meredith's job was to pour the vinegar in.  Daddy helped...


Shane kept saying "It's happening!!"
Hehehe, love Meredith's face in the background.

The kids kept asking for more, so we just kept pouring additional vinegar in.

Eruption over.

Sensory Bin: Dinosaurs

We hadn't gotten the rice-and-beans bin out recently, since it can get pretty messy and we have been in major cleaning mode with all of the house showings we have had.  So the kids have been having lots of fun playing with it again....especially since there were DINOSAURS in there!


I have to admit, it is quite funny to see your tiny little girl growling in her best scary-dinosaur-voice and playing this-dinosaur-eats-that-dinosaur.=)

Dinosaur Pattern Blocks Template

Baby sister just hanging out, staring at the ceiling fan...

Herbivore/Carnivore Sorting

We learned that paleontologists look at a dinosaur's teeth to determine if it ate meat or plants.  Conveniently, the dinos that we had to work with are very obviously one or the other (the carnivores in the group have their mouths open with their sharp teeth visible and the herbivores have their mouths closed or slightly open with no sharp teeth visible).

Investigating this one's teeth...

It's a carnivore!

Reading time!  Here's a couple of pictures of Caleb reading Danny and the Dinosaur to Norah.  She seemed very interested. ;)

Pasta Skeletons

The kids used dried pasta noodles to create dinosaur skeletons.

When they first started, Meredith said "I want to use the macaroni noodles!"  In my best "serious/mysterious" voice, I said "those aren't macaroni noodles...they are dinosaur bones!"  Then my sweet little girl proclaimed, "those dinosaur bones look just like macaroni noodles."  =)

I helped Shane with the glue, in an attempt to make a very basic dino shape.  I should have had Caleb do it, as his turned out a lot better than mine did.  When I asked Shane what the name of his picture was, he said "Dinosaur Bone".


 Meredith named her's "Mikaylasaurus", after her friend Mikayla. =)


 Caleb named his dinosaur "Calebasaurus".


Clay Fossil Prints

In keeping with the fossils theme, the kids used Crayola air-dry clay and some little rubber dinosaurs (dollar store) to create discs with dinosaur impressions in them.  They will dry & harden in a couple of days, and then they will be able to play with them.  They are eager to add them to the rice-and-beans bin, and it will be fun to try and match up the little dinosaurs to their matching clay impressions.

And of course, on Monday, we visited the Burpee Museum to see some real dinosaur bones!

 Click here to see more pictures from our time there.


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