For the lion’s share of this semester, Wednesday has been "Dinosaur Day." At least, that’s what the 5-year-old calls it. This is the one day of the week that we put aside all of our books (well, at least our phonics studies–will I ever learn?) and have a bit of fun with science. I found this at Live and Learn Press after seeing good reviews on it and admiring barrynmissy1972’s fantastic results. I love the concept of lapbooks, and this one certainly had enough activities to last us most of this semester. Admittedly, though, I’m still trying to figure out if this learning tool will work for me. Our previous lapbooks weren’t as "meaty," but I still find lapbooks in general to be very time consuming for me. This project, with far more substance than previous efforts, turned into more of a scrapbook project for Mom. To its credit, our daughter did learn major dinosaur types (Triceratops, Brontosauras, Stegosauras, and the T-rex), all about fossils and tools paleontologists use to preserve them, body parts and divine function (like the difference between teeth that eat plants and teeth that eat meat, or the different types of tails), all about dinosaur diets, and we will hopefully learn soon what might have happened to the dinosaurs. I’m thinking we’ll try again with the human body in the fall, but I’m not so sure…
Anyway, I’d been wanting to post pictures of this lapbook–what’s a good scrapbooking project without an audience, right? The oldest took pictures from her cell phone, so here goes.
This is the lapbook cover, designed by the 5-year-old:
There are a number of Dinah Zike’s-like folded books within the book, and the graphics are already prepared, making for a very colorful presentation. The only disadvantage of this is that I sometimes didn’t have space to record her dictation well.
Included also is a list of resources, including great websites, that are available to help with the study. I found more great graphics that really helped explain things like the differences between a bird-hipped or lizard-hipped dinosaur, although I am still foggy on that one myself! One neat experiment we performed was the refrigeration of crickets (not included in this lapbook lesson) in order to explain the difference between cold-blooded animals and warm-blooded animals. Not too worry–we kept the crickets in a plastic bag the whole time! (LOL)
Although we didn’t use everything in the lapbook, there are a number of fun activities that a five-year-old could enjoy. There were matching games, sorting games, word finds, and there’s nothing like a little Dino Tic-Tac-Toe!
Another resource, separate from the lapbook, was an entire lesson plan from Teacher Created Materials. We all pitched in and made "dinosaur chow," a peanut butter and chocolate treat. (Notice that a couple are missing?!?)
If you’re in the mood for some fun, here’s the recipe, courtesy of TCM:
1/4 cup dirt (cocoa)
1/2 cup swamp water (milk with green food coloring)
2 cups crushed bones (sugar)
1/2 cup fat (butter)
2 cups dead grass (uncooked oatmeal)
1/2 cup squashed bugs (peanut butter)
Mix dirt and swamp water. Add crushed bones and fat. Boil about 3 minutes. Add squashed bugs and dead grass, and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir until mixture begins to thicken. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cool, eat, and enjoy!