Dinosaur Extinction, Early Childhood Styleby: Mary Murray and Lesley Valentine-Anand

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Do dinosaurs have bellybuttons? This intriguing question launched a journey into inquiry science that captivated a class of four-year-olds for eight months. As students enjoyed dinosaur books, examined dinosaur artifacts, drew pictures, watched videos, and generally immersed themselves in all things dinosaur, the authors built a culture of learning in their classroom that helped these young students develop science-process skills such as observation, measurement, and communication. They share their inspiring learning adventure here.

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
12/1/2008

Community ActivitySaved in 124 Libraries

Reviews (3)
  • on Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:11 PM

This article starts with a teacher explaining that one question from a pre-schooler led to 8 months of inquiry-based learning! She then describes how this happened, how she encouraged students to keep this learning going, and the activities with which she helped to teach them about dinosaurs. There are a lot of great ideas in this article that worked for her classroom, and I think would work for many other kids, too. She outlines some really great, engaging activities that could be used in classrooms around the world. This article is a great resource for anyone who is looking for interesting ways to engage students during a dinosaur unit.

Brittany Vogel
Brittany Vogel

  • on Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:20 AM

A book about dinosaurs led to eight months of dinosaur investigations by a class of four year old preschoolers!! Their curiosity was so high the teachers took it to a whole new level. Through a series of progressive activities the students did their own research about dinosaurs and answered their own questions. This open ended method of teaching is quite productive as seen by this article.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:49 AM

This interesting article gives numerous hands-on ideas for teaching young children about dinosaurs. Many inquiry-based activities and their rationale are included. Even if you don't use dinosaurs as the theme, activities related to measuring and hypothesizing can be easily transferred to another unit of study. This is in excellent example of how to engage young minds in thoughtful science inquiry at a level that is developmentally appropriate.

Patricia McGinnis  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia McGinnis (Pottstown, PA)


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