Thursday, August 4, 2011

August Unit Study: D is for Dinosaur

The boys love dinosaurs, or as Andrew calls them, "bump, bump," so we decided we'd try to learn more about them for our August unit study. It turns out there are lots of people who love dinosaurs, so there is tons of stuff available online to put together your own unit study.

We like the cute book D is for Dinosaur by Ken Ham, and the video that goes along with it is good as well; albeit the graphics are now a little cheesy. We also like My Creation Bible and Dinosaur, Genesis, and the Gospel and Creation Adventure Team videos that are also put out by Answers in Genesis as well. They have some other great free resources, including answers to common questions and free audio and video talks as well.

This month, I wrote out our memory verse (Job 40:15, 19) and made a calender with a quick facts about a dinosaur for each day. For simplicity, I used info and pictures from Enchanted Learning to put it together quickly. This site has some good resources for teaching about dinosaurs and so does the PBS Dinosaur Train site, but they are from an evolutionary perspective, so the content can take some wading through.

Since the boys went through worksheets and activities so quickly last month, I needed to come up with a way to make them last longer. We bought a book full of clear page protectors, and I put all of the worksheets and small pieces for activities in separate sleeves. This is working very well as they can write on the pages with a dry erase or washable marker, and then I can simply wipe them down and they are ready to be used all over again for the next day. Putting the puzzle pieces and cards in separate page protector has also really helped to keep them organized and not all over the kitchen. This workbook is sort of a mini workbox system. The boys can do all of the worksheets and then move from one activity to another, hopefully getting the first one put away before getting the next out. We probably will need to get a second book for next month though because Andrew wasn't as thrilled with the small worksheets I laminated for him. If his brother had small cards it was fine, but if Aaron has a big workbook, Andrew surely wants one too.

To fill the workbook, I used free printables from all over the internet. Home School Share has a free creation based dinosaur unit study and lapbook printables. 1 Plus 1 Plus 1 Equals One has dinosaur tot pack with lots of free printables. 2 Teaching Mommies has a free preschool pack with lots of dinosaur themed activities for practicing basic preschool skills. Confessions of a Homeschooler has a Pre-K Letter D unit with lots more dinosaur printables. I found so many great resources that one of the hardest parts was choosing which pages to use from each.

I even found some dinosaur themed beginning math activities. Mathwire had a simple dinosaur racing game to print which uses a die to learn about odd versus even numbers. File Folder Fun has a couple of matching dinosaur bones games to practice simple addition and subtraction. Learning Page also has dinosaur worksheets, including a few simple math ones.

We have a few other dinosaur books including one with a dinosaur for each letter of the alphabet that the boys like a lot. And I found a few new silly storybooks about dinosaurs free online. Tyrone the Double Dirty Rotten Cheater, Tyrone and the Swamp Gang, Dinosaurs I Have Known, and I Am Tyrannosaurus are a few that are very fictitious but kind of funny. Again not everything on dinosaurs is written from a completely creation perspective, so parents may need to edit and explain the truth carefully to avoid confusion.

The boys enjoyed coloring a T-rex and a dinosaur pop up card from Paper Toys. If we get time, I'd love to try to make some more of these dinosaur crafts. The boys boys love to glue things. And if I can find something to represent dinosaur bones, maybe we can have an archeological dig. Combining dirt and dinosaurs, the boys would love that!

We'll see what we do this month and save the rest for another time.

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