Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Theme Time: Dinosaurs

Two weeks ago, I read The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark to ED.  This inspired a short themed unit on dinosaurs. Here are a few of the things we did, plus other dinosaur books and dinosaur puzzles that I don't have pictured below.

Last week we were lucky enough to top our theme-time unit off with a visit to the Gray Fossil Site in east Tennessee on our trek to visit Auntie C, Uncle T and the cousins for Thanksgiving at their farm.
Upper - Lower Case Letter Matching from Making Learning Fun.

Time for a scavenger hunt!! I hid dinosaur themed letters all throughout the basement.  ED found the letters and had to find the matching partner (pictured below). I often go to communication4all, Early Learning tab or sparklebox for letters with a certain theme.
The other kids came running and demanded their own scavenger hunts! DD had to find cards and find the card pairs that added up to 12.  LD had division problems and their answers to find and pair up. (Below)

General dinosaur play, of course!!

Triceratops Leaf Counting -- from Making Learning Fun
Sight Word Letter Tile Cards from Making Learning Fun. The tiles are from our spelling program -- All About Spelling. We love, love, love that curriculum for DD (6) and LD (8).

Dinosaur Counting Cards from 2 Teaching Mommies.

Dinosaur Egg Counting Cards from Making Learning Fun.

LD pulled out some of his fossils and did some reading.  He found this amazing brachiopod fossil in Grams and Gramps' neighborhood in Missouri.
On our way to Nashville, we happened upon this museum at Gray's Fossil Site. It is about a half-hour off of I-81 (along I-26).  When they were building I-26 construction workers noticed some fossils. It turned out to be a fossil bed rich with fossils from about 4 1/2 to 5 million years ago. It is an active fossil site and has a wonderful interactive museum.
They have lots of displays  like this saber toothed tiger.
They had so many interactive activities and please-touch areas. Here the kids are trying to figure out what types of bones these are.
Uncover the fossils (with paint brushes and your hands).
The kids spent lots of time at this activity, hunting through a tray of pebbles looking for shark teeth specimen.
The kids were impressed by this triceratops.



  1. I have never heard of that fossil site, but it looks great. We're a couple hours away, but if we're ever in that direction, we'll have to go. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ohh wow... We can be there in about 3-4 hours we may have to make a overnight stay trip to that place!!!!!! LOOKS WONDERFUL!!!!

  3. It is really worth the trip if you can make it. I didn't even mention here the other exhibit they have at the moment on microbes which was five stars as well... truly *wonderful* and really interactive (my kids were super-engaged and so were the older kids (13 or 14?) who came in with their class). I heard lots of comments like "Wow" and "Check this out!" I've been trying to unpack and get settled back in but will probably post about that on Friday. Hope you both get a chance to visit it! ~Liesl