Sunday, January 19, 2020

Les dinosaures: A Kindergarten Inquiry

In my 11+ years of teaching Kindergarten and primary, I have yet to do a class inquiry or unit of study on dinosaurs. Isn't that weird?! So when my students started to express interest in dinosaurs, I was thrilled! I love learning alongside my students and exploring new topics with them.

Literacy and Vocabulary:

So far, we have talked about different types of dinosaurs and how paleontologists discovered that dinosaurs existed millions of years ago. We have read a couple of great French books about dinosaurs with relatively simple text to spark further interest in the topic:

Image result for si j'avais un triceratops Image result for si j'avais un triceratops

 This one is great for reviewing colour vocabulary:

Image result for Les dinosaures apprennent leurs couleurs

After reading it, I worked in small groups with my students to review the colour words in French. Before the students had arrived, I hid small, coloured dinosaur counters around the room. We worked on listening to directions given in French, using visual cues to help us understand the French vocabulary and it was a great way to quickly assess comprehension. For example, I would say "Nous cherchons maintenant le dinosaure jaune. Il se cache dans un endroit dans la classe où on lit des livres." Using this and other clues given verbally, the students would then try to find the dinosaur with their group and return it to me, adding it to this sheet from my Les dinosaures Unit:

For our Writer's Workshop, we did the classic "Si les dinosaures revenaient..." writing prompt (also found in my TPT Les dinosaures resource) and we used these dinosaurs and speech bubbles at our writing center. 

Dramatic Play:

We set up a paleontology dig site in our dramatic play area that was wildly popular. We had paleontologist's tools likes brushes, chisels, and magnifying glasses and desk area set up for observing our salt dough fossils. We opted for a sand-coloured rug for our dig site instead of a true sand-pit or sensory table because I wasn't up for the constant sweeping that this would require. The kids seem to enjoy it just the same!

Adding this activity where students have to match the dinosaur to its skeleton to our dig site for an extra challenge. 

You can find the activity above if you become an email subscriber to Madame's Little Monkeys! Simply click the image below to sign up and you will gain access to this dino freebie and so many more!


In terms of Math centers, we are currently focusing on Data Management and Probability, so our math table top centers centered around graphing. 

The kiddos loved polling their friends to find out what their favourite dinosaur is and then tallying and graphing their results. The tricky bit was trying to get them to ask their friends in French! That took a little (ahem.. a LOT) of prompting.

While our math focus was on Data Management, we also like to have a numeracy activity out each week. This coming week, I will putting this out and talking about counting by 2s and 4s with the students, since the dinosaurs walk on 2 or 4 feet. Any activity with playdough is typically a hit with my group!

Small World Play:

In our small world play area, we set up a dinosaur world with a volcano, grass squares, wood slices, small trees, and, of course, DINOS!

All of the activities in this post can be found in my "Les dinosaures" Resource on TPT which can be found here: