Friday, September 11, 2009


For teaching Science and Social Studies, I decided to try using Unit Studies. A Unit Study is defined as “an in-depth study of a topic (space, trees, cars, etc.) that takes into account many areas of the topic, such as geography, science, history, art, etc. It is a complete immersion into the topic so that the student will see things as a 'whole' instead of bits and pieces learned throughout their education.” We started out with a simple subject. One I knew we would all find interesting – Dinosaurs.

I found so many fun things related to dinosaurs. I gathered books, puzzles, games, DVD's and other activities. The kids and I work on Unit Studies two afternoons a week while Banana is at preschool and Mr. H takes his naps. So far it has been working very well. We just finished our three-week study of dinosaurs. We have been very busy reading, doing hands-on activities, and we even took a field trip.

I checked out no less than twenty books about dinosaurs from the library. Some were for the kids to read, some were for me to read to them.

We made a terrarium after reading Dinosaur Habitat, a book about two brothers who find themselves inside of the younger brother’s terrarium. Not only did the plants become life sized, but so did the plastic dinosaurs the boy had carefully put in there. And they were no longer plastic!

Thankfully our dinosaurs are still plastic.

I bought a Dinosaur Dig kit from an educational retailer that I thought would be fun for the kids to try. Then I found small kits at the dollar store that I picked up just in case we needed something extra to do. It turned out that those little kits offered much more fun for a dollar than I ever thought!

The kids scraped away layers of clay to reveal tiny dinosaur bones.

Then they used the bones to make their own fossils out of clay.

They took a longer time excavating the Velociraptor bones in the bigger kit.

But the bones they found actually formed two whole dinosaurs.

We were also able to visit “Sue” before she left the St. Louis Science Center.

“Sue” is the most complete set of Tyrannosaurus bones ever found.

Her skull was HUGE!

There were bones to dig up at the exhibit as well. The kids were pros by that time!

Big D enjoyed the T-Rex vision. His body looked pretty funny with a new head.

We also watched a Discovery Channel movie telling all about the types of dinosaurs that lived in America millions of years ago.

We learned a lot AND had fun doing it!!

1 comment:

The Mom said...