You may know that we use a project approach curriculum at our child care centers, where the lesson themes come directly from the children’s interest and experiences. I am a HUGE fan of this curriculum because I have seen first hand how it works and how much children learn from it.
Having said that, some advocates of this curriculum would frown on this project because dinosaurs are not a “real life” experience for them. It is very important for me to showcase this project and everything they learned from it in order to show how relevant this topic actually is to them.
Anything that sparks a child’s interest can be made into a project whether they can personally experience it or not.
Our Bumble Bee class (our voluntary prekindergarten class) just wrapped up a huge month and a half long project on dinosaurs. We have tons of pictures and documentation on the different activities we did, including a dinosaur party that we had where we invited our friends and family to our school so we could showcase all of our hard work.
So let’s dive into the projects. First, we dug for fossils.
Our Fossil Dig
I ordered a excavation kit from oriental trading. I then buried the clay block in the sand on our playscape. The activity went as follows:
- A paleontologist friend of mine gave me a map of the playscape.
- It showed us a spot where we might be able to find dinosaur bones. So we followed the map and located the spot where we should dig.
- We began our dig and found the clay block.
- The children then took turns using a chisel or brush to delicately find the fossils. they even dressed for the part.
- After all the bones were uncovered we put them together. It was a triceratops!!
After a child brought a stick over to me and said “I found a fossil” we decided to collect a bunch of “fossils” and recreate a T-Rex skeleton on clear contact paper.