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Showing posts with label dinosaurs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dinosaurs. Show all posts

Digging Dinosaurs In Science

Kids really DIG building and creating! I love to try to find ways then to add STEM activities.

We just finished our first grade FOSS kit Pebbles, Sand, and Silt so it was time for a STEM connection! We learned about Paleontology and Fossils and now its time to build our own dinosaurs!

Let's set up a STEM lesson to see how easy it can be for you, too to add some STEM to your day!

First, Grab a Picture Book!

 I started with this great interactive book where we get up and do hand motions for each of the pages. Dig, dig, dig those dinosaurs...This is a quick book to get them remembering what Paleontologists do as well as what a museum looks like!

Dig Those Dinosaurs

Next, I ask them a question to get them thinking. 

I asked them what types of characteristics did dinosaurs have that helped them survive when they lived on Earth?

We made an anchor chart that helped us write our ideas down before and after the book.

We are going to take a look at another book that will help us see the adaptations that helped both herbivores and carnivores survive.

This is a great book that shows how dinosaurs were different sizes and how they compare to animals that they know. I make sure that they are constantly looking for ideas to build their own dinosaur.

It also shows how herbivores and carnivores lived as well as how they defended themselves.
The students are able to see the spikes, clubs, plates...to add to our list of adaptations.

I share with them the supplies that they can use to make their dinosaur. I ask, "can you see how to make a dinosaur that has legs to stand on and ways to protect themselves or survive? Remember all the adaptations that they can have."

I show them toilet paper tubes, cubes, ten frame, 100 frame, and 1000 frame blocks, masking tape, construction paper, and pipe cleaners.

How Big Were Dinosaurs?

Once you share the items and your anchor chart  list is complete it is time to follow the Engineering Design Process! 

1. Ask
2. Imagine
3. Plan
4. Create
5. Improve

I send my dear students back to their iPads where they open up their Science Notebook in Explain Everything. They start to design and plan what they will create!

Once they have a labeled diagram, they can go to the supply table, get a bucket, and fill it with what they put on their supply list.

Now it is time to create! Sometimes they get stuck. I try not to do anything for them, but I do give them ideas to try. I really want them to problem solve!

When time is almost up, I let them know it is almost time to share. They must share what items on our anchor chart they incorporated into their design. This gets them thinking about the list again which helps them remember what adaptations are.

Time to SHARE!

Sharing is a key component to the engineering design model. It allows your learners to put into words what worked and what they could modify. It also is a chance for others to give compliments and advice!

This is our favorite part. You can do this with partners, table groups or as a large group. We then set up a museum for everyone to come and see.

Kids love learning about different types of dinosaurs...did you ever worry that you said one of the names wrong? Here is a quick video that does a nice job explaining the names and what they mean.

If you are looking for a fun song to share with your kids as they work...here is a fun little ditty...

Need these lessons all laid out with writing connections and STEM activity sheets. Check out my new line of STEM products, STEM Let's Build...



Digging Dinosaurs!

Okay...so I use FOSS as a basis of all of my units. Let's just say not all of them are completely engaging. Give you an example...Pebbles, Sand, and Silt. With first graders they would eat me alive when I have them for an hour! SOOOOOO.....

I often add my own twist or extend a lesson to something that covers a scientific topic, NGSS, or STEM. That also helps me make it more exciting to teach as well. There is only so many rocks you can wash or rub together before they start heckling you!

This week, in first grade we added fossils! Yes...those wonderful animals and plants that are so old that they turn to stone! They are found in the ground usually in sedimentary rock, and paleontologists dig for them...just like geologists dig for rocks! The connection begins!

Here is my hour long lesson in a nutshell...
1. What is a fossil? anchor chart
2. Read an EPIC book called Fossils
3. Add to the anchor chart
4. Then...visit a virtual museum to see real dinosaur bones! They loved this! And it will be the basis of all of my connections on paleobiology! The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History tour
The real fossil hall is closed until 2019.
5. We then dig for fossil bones in a bucket of sand. Each student gets in a group of 3-4 at a table. They take turns digging for puzzle pieces I had laminated that had a dinosaur skeleton on it! They pass the bucket when they find one. This allows for everyone to have equal turns and a smoother activity!
6. After the dig is over, I take the sand buckets and leave them to take it to the museum they will put the jigsaw together to rig their dinosaur for their exhibit!
7. When they are done...if done early they get to play with plastic dinosaurs at the carpet.
8. We then tour each exhibit (table group) to see their dinosaur. We really dig what they did as a team!
9. We follow up with a reflection sheet

10. We create fossils using plastic snakes, bugs, dinosaurs, shells, and plant leaves. They each get a piece of pottery clay that dried into a "rock" quickly.
11. We finish up our time with a really fun action book...

I hope you were digging this post, too! Finding fun and easy ways to teach science and get your kiddos engaged is what makes learning special!
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