Triceratops Habitat

The triceratops lived during the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 67 million years ago. These giant lizards lived in North America, somewhere between Montana and South Dakota. Grazing on grass in herds, these dinosaurs roamed around together, residing in large family units.

rhino1

For this activity, we used a variety of sensory materials to recreate its lush habitat.  With the help of green flower foam, toy triceratops, peat moss, and tiny trees, we made the perfect home for our dinosaur friends.

rhino

T-Rex Puzzle Match

From toddlers to adults, people love to solve puzzles. Puzzles are intriguing, the goal is clear and when you solve them, you get that sense of accomplishment that makes you feel good about yourself. Preschoolers can play with puzzles without even realizing how many skills they are developing. This happens because, in order to solve a puzzle of any kind, your child needs to stop and think about how to go about reaching her goal.

trex1

When using a board puzzle, she develops a strategy on how she will try to place each piece in the correct space in order to make all of the pieces fit. She uses her problem-solving skills by developing solutions in order to accomplish completing her goal, just as she will use these skills during the course of her adult life. Puzzles can also help a preschooler develop important cognitive skills. For example, when your child will is asked to take step-by-step direction, puzzles help him develop the ability to accomplish goals one step at a time and to understand why certain tasks need to be done in this manner.

trex

They can also help your preschooler develop visual spatial awareness because of the many colors, shapes and themes they come in. For this activity, we used a puzzle to learn more about the magnificent tyrannosaurus rex!  There were six pieces, so each time your little one attempted to put the pieces together, he had to make sure that they all matched before he proceeded to add the next one.

Velociraptor Footprints

The velociraptor roamed the Earth around 70 million years ago. The word “velociraptor” is derived from the Latin words “velox” and “raptor”, which translated, mean “swift robber”. Despite its sleek appearance and small size, the velociraptor was a predator.  Relating more to birds than to reptiles, the velociraptor stood merely 2 feet tall, the size of a small turkey.

veloc4

Some scientists believe that these creatures could at one time, fly. One thing is certain: the velociraptor loved to run. For this activity, we discussed the words “slow”, “swift”, and “carnivore”. To demonstrate the actions associated with these words, we used paint and toy raptors.

veloc3

Dipping our dinosaurs into the paint, your little one made a series of footprints on a piece of butcher paper. They were first asked to create slow, deliberate footprints. Then they were asked to create regular footprints. Lastly, they were directed to create swift footprints. This activity strengthened hand-eye coordination and supported the acquisition of new vocabulary.

veloc2

Pterodactyl Puppet Provocation

Using puppetry in teaching makes for one of the most enjoyable forms of learning for children of all ages.

ptero4

From simple sock puppets to the more sophisticated marionettes, puppetry as a teaching tool is important to language development and communication skills.

ptero3

For this particular activity, we created pterodactyl puppets to learn new vocabulary. To begin with, we talked about a pterodactyl was and the food it preferred to eat.

ptero1

We then discussed their habitat and physical characteristics. Secondly, we used markers to decorate pre-cut outlines of pterodactyls.

ptero5

Following this, we created pterodactyl habitats. Lastly, we formed small groups to act out a few pre-written “scenes” with our puppets.

ptero

T-Rex Diet Sort

Throughout the month of our dinosaur-themed activities, we talked about what herbivores and carnivores were. We talked about what they were and the dinosaurs associated with them.

dinovore2.jpg

In addition to this, we talked about the different kinds of teeth and anatomy required for each particular diet and coupled that with new vocabulary (stegosaurus, brontosaurus, velicoraptor). Using dinosaurs and pictures of meat and plants, we sorted each dinosaur according to what we thought they ate, meat or plant.

dinovore1

Each student cheered on their friends, and everyone was given a chance to participate. This activity helped us integrate our discussion of the dinosaur diet, names of other carnivores and extended previously relayed information by discussing anatomy and eating characteristics.

dinovore

Dinosaur Shadow Match

Visual discrimination helps a child to see subtle differences between objects or pictures and to see if something matches up.

shadow

This visual perceptual skill can be described as “paying attention to detail”.

shadow3

For this activity, students matched up dinosaur shadows with three-dimensional dinosaurs that had subtle differences.

shadow2

Students were asked to find these differences and match each stegosaurus with it’s “matching” shadow.

shadow1

 

Triceratops Case Match

Many children have problems learning the letters of the alphabet. Since letter recognition depends on understanding a sequence of features, the best way to teach children the sequence of features in recognizing a letter is by guided practice.

triceramatch

Although we do use worksheets in our classroom, our primary mode of instruction is through the manipulation of concrete materials. These can resemble anything from flashcards to sandpaper letters, shaving cream to salt trays.

triceramatch2

The most important thing is that there is a physical response to an abstract one. For this activity, we practiced matching upper and lower case letters. On account of this being triceratops week, we used this dinosaur manipulative to complete the activity.

triceramatch1