Learning About: Dinosaurs

Following on from the post about our Oceans Unit Study earlier this year, I've collated some info about our Dinosaur Unit Study to share with you.  Zeah is five, and she loves learning-by-doing, so we've done a lot of hands-on learning, as well as enjoying an epic Dinosaur Trail roadtrip!

Some of our Term 2 & 3 activities have included:

Castle & Kite, KiwiCoand My Creative Box* activity boxes have come to the rescue again, with Zeah undertaking lots of creative Dinosaur activities with her Nanny on Tuesdays.  I like that I can leave these boxes for them and go into the office, and everything they need is on hand.  The activities give quick results, provide something to show off when I arrive home, and there's little waste involved because of how these activity boxes are designed.
(*use these affiliate links for a discount for your family, and mine).

We've found lots of Dinosaur books in the library, op shops, our own shelves, and from our friends via our Homeschool Group Swap day.  These were useful on our long days driving during our amazing Dinosaur Trail roadtrip!  A few are pictured, below.

I bought a bundle of second-hand dinosaur models from eBay, which were useful in creative play using a diorama Zeah and her Nanny created with a box, as well as making footprints in sand and playdough, and closely examining the features of different types of prehistoric creatures. The whole bag of toys cost under $20, which is approximately the price of one of the larger models if bought new.

I bought a few dinosaur puzzles and games like memory and bingo secondhand as well.  I utilised printables from Teachers Pay Teachers, Twinkl, and Little Owl's ResourcesI generally print these out, and laminate and cut up any cards or games while I'm watching my uni lectures.  It doesn't require concentration to prepare the learning materials, just time and free hands. 

For each theme, I create a binder full of printed activities, and include little zippered pouches with various matching cards, playdough mats, and games in them.  This means everything is in one place, and other people can choose learning activities to share with Zeah.



We went to see Erth's Dinosaur Zoo at the Cairns Performing Arts Centre with some friends, which Zeah found really exciting.  It was her first time seeing a show in a big theatre with all the light & sound effects.  We're also going to see the Dinosaur Festival in Cairns next month!

        

Zeah has been watching anything she can find about dinosaurs, prolaiming it's her "schoolwork".  ABC Kids have heaps to offer, including Dinosaur Train, Andy's Dinosaur Adventures, Andy's Prehistoric Adventures, and Dino Dana. As well, she's seen a few DVDs we owned, or found at the op shop, including Magic School Bus of course, and she enjoyed Walking With Dinosaurs a lot!  We haven't watched Jurassic Park, because Zeah doesn't like watching anything too scary, and the trailer is quite dramatic.

Our road trip was, of course, the highlight of this unit study so far.  We saw real dinosaur bones, dinosaur footprints, life-sized dinosaur models, and several audio-visual presentations when we went to Australian Age of Dinosaurs near Winton, and the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden. 

Our next theme is Australia, with a particular focus on animals.  I'll post about our adventures and activities here later on this year.  I hope this series gives you some insight into how we use unit studies for learning, and especially how we take advantage of using what we have, as well as free and cheap resources.  I always begin to collect resources for our next unit a month or so in advance, so I can find and create a lot of interesting treasures within our budget.  Happy homeschooling!

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