DINOSAURS

 

               Compiled by Robyn © December 2004

 

INFORMATION

The word dinosaur means ‘terrible lizard’.  A very long time ago, prehistoric reptiles called dinosaurs roamed the earth.  We know they were here because we found their bones (fossils) in the earth.  When the bones were put together (like a puzzle), men were given lots of clues as to what the dinosaurs looked like.  Scientists have tests they do to see how old the bones are and they are estimated to be over 65 million years old.  Why dinosaurs became extinct is not fully known.  Although there are no dinosaurs left today, birds are relatives of the dinosaurs and have almost exactly the same shape skeletons. 

 

For everything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs check out ZoomDinosaurs.com from Enchanted Learning…

 

VOCABULARY

*   A Palaeontologist is a scientist who studies palaeontology - learning about the forms of life that existed in former geologic periods, mainly by studying fossils.

*   A Fossil is the remains of ancient animals and plants, the traces or impressions of living things from past geologic ages usually found in sedimentary rock layers.

*   Extinction is the process in which groups of organisms (species) die out.

 

RECOMMENDED READING from Kalahari Books

*   The Kingfisher Treasury of Dinosaur Stories edited by Jeremy Strong (Ages 4-8)>>See Amazon Reviews>>

This fun-packed new collection brings together the very best dinosaur stories from some of today's top children's writers. With scary dinosaurs, friendly dinosaurs, baby dinosaurs and even inflatable dinosaurs, there's a story here to grab the imagination of every child.

*   Dinosaur Time by Michael Foreman (Ages 3-8)>>See Amazon Reviews>>

It all started at breakfast with a new timer that Tom’s mom tells him not to touch…he can’t resist and presses the button and is then taken back in time on a prehistoric adventure to the time of dinosaurs.  He carries an egg home with him and the adventure continues…a story full of action and fun with beautiful watercolours.

*   Land Before Time (Beginner Books) by Molly Goode (Ages 3-8)>>See Amazon Reviews>>    Before she dies, Little Foot's mother tells the young dinosaur to go to the Great Valley, where food is plentiful and he can start life anew.  The prehistoric pals journey against all odds to find safety in the Great Valley.  This book is fun and simple to read.  The rhyming style reads like those familiar Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat books.  Lively illustrations and a warm tale of friendship will make this a favourite.  It is based on the first Land Before Time movie.

*   The DK Big Book of Dinosaurs (Ages 4-8) Dorling Kindersley>>See Amazon Reviews>>

A colourful catalogue of these mysterious creatures that will appeal to young and old. This is a photographic collection of realistic models, bones, and skeletons, which show the biggest, fastest, and fiercest dinosaurs.  Children will love spotting all the different dinosaurs - from the fierce, meat-eating Tyrannosaurus and the long-necked, plant-eating Diplodocus to the heavily armoured Stegosaurus.

 

RECOMMENDED VIDEOS/DVDS

*   BBC’s Walking With the Dinosaurs Series (Parental Guidance Recommended)>>See Amazon Reviews>>

Ride the ultimate time machine from the beginning of the amazing world of dinosaurs to their spectacular end!  Based on fact, and using state-of-the-art computer graphics, BBC’s 6-part (3 hour) documentary series puts you in the middle of Jurassic stampedes and T Rex battles, through 155 million years of pre-history. 

*   Walt Disney’s ‘Dinosaur’ directed by Eric Leighton (Ages 4 and up)>>See Amazon Reviews>>

Dinosaurs come alive like never before in this computer-animated movie.  This is the compelling story of an Iguanodon named Aladar, who is separated from his own kind and raised by a clan of lemurs.  They follow a herd of dinosaurs on a treacherous journey heading for the safety of the nesting grounds.  Disney's DINOSAUR is a breathtaking spectacle filled with adventure, fun, and life lessons that the whole family will love!  Rated PG for general intensity.

*   Land Before Time Series (Ages 3 – 6)>>See Amazon Reviews>>

Young children love this animated dinosaur series.  Join the prehistoric pals, Little Foot, Cera, Spike, Ducky and Petrie for exciting adventures in these heart-warming tales.  The colourful, song-filled stories will charm children with its hopeful, upbeat theme of sharing and caring, set against the lush backdrop of a fantastic primeval world.

*   Barney Videos (Ages 2 – 4)>>See Amazon Reviews>>

 Barney has become the world’s most loved dinosaur.  The stories are a blending of education and entertainment for preschool children.  Having watched many of the Barney videos myself, the ones I would recommend buying are ~ Sing and Dance with Barney >> Barney – Imagination Island >> Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie

 

 

 

 


IN THE KITCHEN

*   Dino Eggs

Boil an egg for 8-10 minutes.  Tap the hard-boiled egg on a table to make cracks in it.  Put it in a cup of water with your choice of natural colouring and let it sit for the morning.  At lunchtime open up the eggshell and see the interesting designs made from the cracks and colouring.  Eat and enjoy your dinosaur egg.

 

CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES

*   Download-a-Dinosaur

Designs for easy-to-make paper dinosaurs that you can print out and assemble. All that is needed is scissors and glue.

*   Little Foot the Brontosaurus

Make Little Foot by using a toilet roll and the printable template provided.

*   Dino Feet

Instructions for making dinosaur feet using two tissue boxes.

*   Dino Movement

Tie large paper sacks onto your feet and stomp around.  Carnivores walk upright with their elbows tucked in.  Herbivores move around on all fours.  Chant ~ Dinosaurs roar! Dinosaurs roar! 1-2-3-4 Dinosaurs roar!

*   Tyrannosaurus Rex Catch
Use Hula Hoops or such to define water areas and let children act out the various plant-eating dinosaurs.  When you call out "T. Rex" they scramble to their safe water zones inside the hoops.

*   Dino Eggs

A Brontosaurus hatched from an egg about 25cm long.  Place a ‘baby’ brontosaurus toy inside a balloon and blow it up to that size.  Cover the balloon completely with several layers of paper mache.  Carefully pop and remove the balloon when the paper maché is dry and then cover the small hole.  Let dry again and paint.  Make a nest in a box with straw, wool or paper and write a story about the egg.  You can hatch your eggs to discover the baby surprise.

*   Dino Diorama

Paint the inside of a box green.  Turn the box on its side and dry.  Add construction paper trees and plants and paint a background of either mountains or a volcano.  Make rocks from sawdust clay.  Add toy dinosaurs or print paper dinosaurs cut outs.  Hang flying dinosaurs from the top with string.  Enjoy your very own prehistoric dinosaur scene.

*   Dino Measuring

Tyrannosaurus left huge tracks.  They measured 1 meter in length.  When T-rex walked, the footprints were 6 meters apart, one in front of the other.  The space between the footprints of a fast-moving T-rex would have been 12 meters. Draw and cut out a "life sized" dinosaur footprint to give an idea of size.   Draw around and cut out one of your footprints.  Compare the shape and size of your footprint to the dinosaur footprint.  Guess how many of your feet could fit inside or measure how many of your feet it takes in length by stepping and counting.  You could also measure how many dinosaur footsteps it would take to go to the garden or the front gate remember to measure 6 metres between.

*   Dino Sizes

Cut pieces of wool into 1m lengths.  Line the pieces of wool along the floor to measure the length of dinosaurs.  For example, T-Rex was 12 meters long, so you would line up 12 pieces of wool to see his real size.  Use Enchanted Learning’s Fact sheets to see the different measurements.  See which dinosaurs would be able to fit into different areas of your house.

*   Box-o-saurus
Using guide pictures, make your own dinosaur by gluing boxes together in a dinosaur shape.  Use egg cartons, cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes, etc.  Choose a big box for the body and a long box for a neck.  For a head and a tail, cut boxes at angles and glue a piece of a box over the opening.  Egg carton sections are great for making spikes or horns.  When the glue has dried cover the dinosaur with a layer of paste and newspaper bits to smooth over.  Paint and add construction paper eyes and other features.

*   Dino Soap Egg

Grate any white soap bar.  Mix the grated soap with a small amount of water to make a doughy mixture.  Use about 2 T of the ‘dough’ per egg.  Mould the dough around a little toy dinosaur until smooth to form a dinosaur egg.  Place it on a paper plate to dry.  Use during bath-time and see how long it takes for your dinosaur to hatch from the egg.

*   Dino Teeth

Look at some different dinosaur teeth.  Using white salt clay, make three dinosaur teeth about 5cm long (the size of an Allosaurus tooth).  Make a hole in the top of each tooth.  Bake the clay.  When cool, string the teeth onto a piece of wool making a knot between each tooth.   Tie the necklace so that it can slip over the child’s head.

*   Dino Fossils

Bury small plastic dinosaurs in a sandpit, the garden or a tray of sand.  After the "palaeontologists" dig them all up, make some ‘fossils’ in fossil clay (or plaster of paris if you want a quicker drying time).  To make the fossils ~ Flatten the clay on a small paper plate.  Place dinosaur sideways on top of the clay and press down to create an impression.  The fossils take 4-5 days to dry completely.  Let the dinosaurs sit in the clay while it dries so that the imprint is clearer.  When dry, you have your very own dinosaur fossil that looks like a real rock.

*   Fossil Clay Recipe:

2 ½ c flour, 2 ½ c used coffee grounds, 1 ½ c salt, 1 c sand, up to 1 c water
Mix coffee grounds, salt, and sand. Gradually stir in water until mixture holds together. Use as little water as possible to speed drying process. The more water you use, the longer it takes to dry.

*   Dino Sorting

You need pictures of different dinosaurs or plastic dinosaurs and pictures of different foods ~ ‘meat’ (smaller dinosaurs) and plants.  Explain that some dinosaurs were meat eaters and some were plant eaters.  Go into as much depth as you like…different shaped teeth etc.  Mix up the pictures or plastic toy dinosaurs and then feed each one either with the pictures of ‘meat’ or plants.

*   Dino Fun

For a fun summer activity, stand little dinosaur toys on a plastic sheet and add a shallow layer of water.  Freeze overnight.  Children will love playing with the ice and watching it melt so that they can play with the dinosaurs.

*   Dino Information Chart

After discussing dinosaurs in this unit, create a dinosaur info chart by writing out dinosaur facts that you have learned and sticking them up on the chart.  It is a good way to determine what was actually absorbed about dinosaurs.  It will vary according to age from very simple ideas such as ~ some are big/small/can fly/eat meat/plants to more detailed facts.

 

SONGS & RHYMES

 Tune:  "Mary Had A Little Lamb"

 

Tune ~  “Two Little Dickie Birds”

 

Two big dinosaurs stomping in the sand,
One named Harold, the other named Sam,
Stomp away Harold,
Stomp away Sam,
get nearer back Harold,
Come back Sam
.

 
Dinosaurs once ruled the Earth,

Ruled the Earth, Ruled the Earth.

Dinosaurs once ruled the Earth

Many years ago.

 

(other verses)

Stegosaurus swished its tail

Brontosaurus was very big

The Brachiosaurus lived in the water

Apatosaurus stomped so hard

Pterodactyl was a winged flier

The Trachodon had 2000 teeth

Triceratops had 3 horns

Tyrannosaurus Rex was the king

 

Spread your arms, way out wide >> Fly like a Pteranodon, soar and glide

Bend to the floor, head down low >> Move like Stegosaurus, long ago.

Reach up tall, try to be >> As tall as Apatosaurus eating on a tree.

Use your claws, grumble and growl >> Just like Tyrannosaurus on the prowl.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


WORKSHEETS

Barney Colouring In Pages including mazes and colour by shapes

Land Before Time Colouring Pages including two more difficult mazes

Dinosaur Colouring Pages

Dinosaur Themed Maths Pages Grades 1-5

Excellent Free Dinosaur Worksheets Grade 0-3 with Learning Page.com

(Register as a member for free to access over 300 more of these pages)

Puzzle pieces to cut out and assemble to make a Stegosaurus

Dinosaur Memory Game Cards to Print

Preschool Same or Different

Preschool Shadow Match

Kindergarten Dino Number Practice 1-5

Kindergarten Dino Number Practice 6-10

 

MY FAVOURITE LINKS

Barney the Dinosaur Lesson Plans

Land Before Time Online Games – Matching, Colouring and Puzzle

Dino Dictionary.com

Dinosaur Crafts at Danielle’s Place

BBC Walking with Dinosaurs

The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia

Dinosauria ~ Some more interesting dinosaur facts

Dinosaur Dig – Facts, Trivia and Games

Dino Clip Art from Kids Domain

Dinosaurs from GigglePotz

 

OUTINGS

Most museums have wonderful information and displays on dinosaurs, fossils and pre-historic reptiles.  Many even have huge life-sized dinosaur replicas.  Some of the relevant South African Museums are listed below:

 

The Port Elizabeth Museum Complex

Models of some of the dinosaurs that roamed the prehistoric landscape, including a life-sized reconstruction of the giant dinosaur known as Algoasaurus are present in life-like settings in the Port Elizabeth Museum.

Albany Museum ~ Grahamstown

The first dinosaur fossil found in South Africa was the first stegosaur to have ever been found.  To commemorate this event a five-metre long, life-sized reconstruction of the animal was made and is on display in the Albany Museum.

Palaeontology Museum, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Special features of the Museum include a 'live' fossil preparation laboratory, where visitors can watch a technician preparing a fossil from the collections.  The museum also features two life-size animated reconstructions of dinosaurs.

Natural Science Museum Durban - Smith Street, Durban

A museum focusing on the earth and life on earth, with a life size dinosaur and other interesting animals.

 

If you are lucky enough to be in Mpumalanga, South Africa you need to visit the Sudwala Dinosaur Park

The Sudwala Dinosaur Park is set in a lush, sub-tropical garden. 35 km west of Nelspruit.  Life sized scientifically accurate models of pre-historic animals are on display.  Their web site is also full of interesting dinosaur facts.

 

 

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THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED JULY 2006

 

Thank You BillyBear4Kids for the dinosaur graphics.