Friday, August 16, 2013

Paleontology Program

Part of my job at the library is to run two programs per week.  Most of the programs I run are for children and can easily be used for a homeschool or homeschool co-op.

Every summer the American Library Association comes up with a Summer Reading Theme.  This past summer was "Dig Into Reading".  I developed this program for our public library (where I work) and I have wanted to post it all ding dang summer...but we have been seriously busy going to the lake and yoga festivals and waterfalls and vineyard touring, not to mention the beach and spending days with friends.

Anyway--here it is...

I created Junior Paleontology books.  Just plain construction paper cover where I wrote the name of the program and let the kids (ages 5-9) decorate them with dinosaur stickers and markers.  I printed out 7 copies of Dinosaur Report for each child and also the coloring pages I link to for each week.  I put the books together with one Dinosaur Report, coloring page week 1, one Dinosaur Report, coloring page for week 2, etc.

Week 1 - we learned that there are three periods for dinosaurs: Triassic (250 million years ago, no ice caps, equator was warm and dry, there was land joining ALL of the earth's continents), Jurassic (ended 150 million years ago, land started breaking into continents) and Cretaceous (longest period of Mesozoic era, lasted 80 million years, continents and seas began to develop).

A great site for this information: Enchanted Learning/Dinosaurs

coral, grasshoppers, turtles, snakes, crocodiles, frogs and salamanders all were around.  The kids found it absolutely fascinating that creatures we have around now are from this oldest of eras--they could not wait to run out and tell their parents at the end of our time together.  They wrote these down on the dinosaur report and colored in the coloring page.  

Book used:

Week 2 - Jurassic era -  Stegosaurus - Dinosaurs in this era are four legged and sturdy with long necks to reach leaves on tall plants and trees.

Craft: Build a Dinosaur

Week 3 - Jurassic era - Brachiosaurus

Craft: Timeline - I printed out the forms and the kids cut them and glued them on and marked the eras.

***Week 4 - Jurassic Period - Allosaurus -

 Week 5 - Cretaceous period - these are the dinosaurs we hear the most about (remember it's the longest period of the Mesozoic era) - Tyrannosaurus Rex

We talked about Cretaceous having to do with the earth's crust and the fossils being buried there.

Craft: Pasta Dino Skeleton

Week 6 - Cretaceous period - Velociraptor - we  learned the definition of a raptor  as an animal that can fly and was not nice to its' prey.

Craft:  Paper Plate Dinosaurs - I made a model and this turned out so much better than I thought, the kids all personalized their dinosaurs and had a lot of fun with this.

Week 7 - Cretaceous period - Brachiosaurus - one of the largest dinosaurs

Craft:  Dinosaur Egg craft - unfortunately, in our library the kids and parents expect that the kids will make a craft every single week, so sometimes our crafts don't exactly match what we learned in an attempt to always make sure there is a craft, but this is a cute craft.

Week 8 - Cretaceous period - thropods or Ornithromimids (bird mimics)

Craft:  Archaeological Painting - just draw a thropod in white crayon on white paper and have students used watered down paint or watercolor to paint over it--it was actually a really awesome project that the kids loved!

Week 9 - Make our own fossils with Plaster of Paris - we did not use plasticine, but rather plastic dinosaurs and things we bought at Oriental Trading and the Dollar Store.

Week 10 - have kids use information they learned to create their own dinosaur and fill out the form on their dinosaur and draw a picture of their dinosaur.