Ten Terrible Dinosaurs, by Paul Strickland

What child doesn’t like dinosaurs? This fun book will help children with their number awareness.

Materials

  • A variety of small dinosaurs

Vocabulary

  • Enormous (really, really big)
  • Spiky (sharp and pointed)
  • Elated (to be happy)
  • Feisty (acting pretty wild)
  • Weary (tired)
  • Carnivore (one who eats meat)
  • Herbivore (one who eats plants)
  • Canine teeth (the pointed tooth between the incisors and the molars, people have one on each side of their mouth.)

Before Reading the Story

Today the children will be exploring their teeth before reading the story. Make sure that the children have washed their hands appropriately before they come to the group today so that they will not be putting dirty fingers into their mouths. On a piece of paper, draw a large tooth. Ask the children if they know what it is? Talk for a moment about dental care (brushing, dentist visits, minimal sugars, and not using teeth to open things). After you have discussed dental care to your and the children’s satisfaction, point to the tooth you drew and ask the children if all teeth are shaped like this? (No, we have different kinds of teeth in our mouths to chew different kinds of food). Draw a pointy canine tooth. Tell them that some teeth are shaped like this and ask them to touch the tooth in their mouth that is pointy. Explain that this tooth is pointy so that it can tear and eat meat. People and animals that eat meat are called carnivores. Ask them to think about other animals that might have pointy teeth (dogs, cats, tigers, alligators). After each, if it is a meat eater say, “Yes, it’s a carnivore”. Have the children go back into their mouths and touch a back molar. Explain that some teeth are flat like these so that they can mash and chew plants. Tell them that people and animals that eat plants are called herbivores. Ask them to think of some animals that might be herbivores (horse, camel, elephant, rabbit). If it is a plant eater say, “Yes, it’s an herbivore. If the animal eats both meat and plants tell the children that it is both an herbivore and a carnivore and is called an omnivore. Let the children name animals and guess if it is a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore.

Science/Scientific Skills & Measurements; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships. AND Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and respect for their bodies and the environment.

Reading the Story

Tell the children that your story today is about a creature that is sometimes an herbivore and sometimes a carnivore. Read the title of the book and look at the dinosaurs on the cover. Point to each one and ask, could this one be a carnivore? (Only the ones with visible teeth count) When you get to the pages that say, “so then there were”…pause to see if the children can name the correct number.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways. AND Science/Scientific Methods & Skills; develops increased abilities wo observe and discuss common properties, differences and comparisons among objects and materials.

After reading the Story

Hold up 10 fingers and state, “10 take away one equals _____. Let down a finger. (take away one equals ____.) Continue down to zero.

Mathematics/ Numbers & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means for problem solving and determining quantities.

Discovery

Bring in pictures of dinosaurs or books about dinosaurs.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and poetry.

Do a web search of dinosaur pictures to color and print off 4-5 realistic looking pictures for the children to talk about, compare, and color.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers.

Music and Movement

Say, “Feel that shaking on the floor, must be the dancing of the dinosaurs!” Turn on some lively music and stomp, twist and dance to the music.

Creative Arts/Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.

Blocks

Dinosaurs in blocks would be fun. If you do not have dinosaurs, cut out pictures from the internet and tape to your blocks.

Creative Arts/Dramatic play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming roles in dramatic play situations.

Art

Move the chairs away from your art table and have the children stand around the edges. Tell them that you are going to be dancing, twirling, silly dinosaurs. Put out two primary colors of finger paint directly on the table and some lively music. As the children finger paint the tabletop, help them be aware that the two colors are mixing into a new one. Make sure to give yourself a little extra clean-up time. Children seem to really enjoy painting the table but it takes extra time to clean.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect relationships.

Library and Writing

Write D/d on a piece of paper. Point to and name the capital D and then do the same with the lower case d. Tell the children that D/d is the letter that begins the word dinosaur. Have the children practice making the D/d sound several times. Ask the children to think of as many D/d words as they can and write them on the paper repeating the /d/ sound and the word each time.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating names of letters with their shapes and sounds. AND Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds in words.

Sand and Water

Add small dinosaurs to the sand table. Dampen the sand so the children can make mountains, craters, and volcanoes. Add rocks and sticks to make a dinosaur diorama.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Dramatic Play

As the children move about the room today, at intervals call out , “Dinosaurs Roar!” and encourage all the children to roar loudly with you. You could have the children roar for each other when they or you have seen someone do an act of kindness or friendship.

Social and Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing friendships with peers.

Math and Manipulatives

This would be a good day to put out any puzzles relating to dinosaurs, teeth, or numbers. If you have none of these, any puzzles will do, both table and floor.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, or experiences.

Outdoor Play

Choose one child to be the ferocious, meat eating Tyrannosaurus Rex. The rest of the children can be the gentle plant-eating dinosaurs. The T Rex is “it” and chases the other dinosaurs . If they are caught, they must go stand by a tree and pretend to eat the leaves until the T Rex has caught three children and then a new T Rex is chosen.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping. Mathematics/Numbers & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways. Develops increased abilities to combine, separate, and name “how many” concrete objects.

Transitions

As the children go to their next activity, ask them to make loud chomping sounds if they are an herbivore plant eater, roar if they are a carnivore meat eater, now stomp on off.

Literacy/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varies vocabulary.

Dear Parents, Help your child learn to count by doing this little dinosaur song. As you sing each number hold up the corresponding finger.

Ten Big Dinosaurs (To the Tune of “10 Little Indians”)

1 big, 2 big, 3 big dinosaurs,

4 big, 5 big, 6 big dinosaurs,

7 big, 8 big, 9 big dinosaurs,

Ten Big Dinosaurs!

They all lived a long, long time ago.

They all lived a long, long time ago.

They all lived a long, long time ago.

Now there are no more.

Alex Alligator and his Fearsome Jaws, by Paul Flemming

Alex alligator does not understand why no one wants to be his friend. This book is a good book to talk about bullying behaviors and also teeth! Children like this story because the alligator snaps.

Materials

Alligator mouth for game

Example of A for alligator drawing, B for butterfly, A for ice cream cone****

Several toothbrushes for painting.

Vocabulary

Fearsome (terrifying or frightening)

Handsome (good looking)

Before Reading the Story

Tell the children that each of us is very special and each has a feature/something special they should be proud of themselves for/about. Give the children an example about yourself ( I like that my legs are strong so I am a good runner, I like that my hair is long so it moves in the wind, I like that my eyes are green like my cats). Let the children name some things that they like about themselves. Introduce the story by showing the children the cover. Tell them that this is Alex Alligator and he is proud about something too. Can anybody guess? He is proud of his fearsome jaw and many teeth. Ask, What do you think will happen if he shows all those teeth to the other animals?

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept;begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.  AND Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell nad dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; amd to predict what will happen next in a story.

Reading the Story

Use the snapper that the story provides and show the children how to make an alligator using their hand in an open/closed fashion. Have them snap along with the story.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

After Reading the Story

Ask, why were all the animals afraid of Alex alligator? (He had mean teeth, they thought he was gonna eat them, he’s an alligator). Explain to the children that sometimes people do not know that they are doing things that make other people afraid of them or not want to play with them. Give some examples, minus names, of things that you have seen in your classroom. (Yesterday I saw one of my friends go into the block center and another child snapped at him, You can’t play here! This morning I saw one of my friends ask if she could have the glue and another child just pretended that she was not even there). How does it make you feel when people treat you badly or snap at you (sad, scared, mad). Let’s practice some better ways to talk to people. Tell the children that you are going to play a friend game. Go around the circle and ask the children questions about being friends. (Kerry what would you do if I asked you for the scissors but you were still using them? What could you say if a friend was watching you build with legos? What should you say if a friend pushes you when we are lining up to go outside?). Think of times in your own room where you see situations arise. If necessary help the children by talking through appropriate responses.

Social & Emotional Development/Social relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy or caring for others.

Discovery

Bring in any real teeth that you might have for the children to look at with a magnifying glass. If you have no real teeth, bring in a book of animals that shows their teeth. (Ask your Dentist for any of your old x-rays)

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Music and Movement

Do the movement rhyme, Here Comes Hungry Alligator by Lori Van Winden

Here comes hungry alligator       

(Put one hand on top of the other and sway back & forth )

He goes chomp, chomp, chomp    

(Open and close hands)

In the swamp, swamp, swamp.

So swim fast little fish                     

(Use one hand to make a fish swimming)

Birds, fly away!                                 

(Raise arms and flap)

Move along turtles and crabs        

(wiggle fingers)

Hurry out of the way!

Because here comes the hungry  Alligator   

(Put one hand on top of the other and sway back & forth.)

Going chomp, chomp, chomp       

(Open and close hands)

In the swamp, swamp, swamp.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

Blocks

Challenge the children to make a path using blocks from one side of the center to the other.  Can they walk across without falling off?  Can they walk it backwards?  When finished the path may look thin like a balance beam or wider like a sidewalk.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.  AND Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Art

Give the children pieces of yellow paper that has been cut into a large tooth shape. Put out bowls of white paint and toothbrushes. The children can brush the teeth to a pearly white.  While they work, talk to them about dental hygiene and allow them to share their toothbrushing experiences.

Creative Arts/Art; begins to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences.

Library and Writing

Show the children how to make a capital A on a piece of paper. Now turn it on its side and draw an alligator head! The children can add teeth and an eye. Try doing lots of different letters, what shapes can they make?

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Sand and Water

Water play. Add long rectangle blocks to pretend to be alligators.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Dramatic Play

While brushing your teeth today, pretend that you are alligators. Brush all your handsome teeth and when you are through, smile a toothy grin and then chomp, chomp, chomp just for fun.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; shows growing independence in hygiene nutrition, and personal care when eating , dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth, and toileting.

Math and Manipulatives

Play, The Alligator’s Fearsome Teeth. Make 4 copies of the alligator mouth. Cover them with contact paper. Show the children how to roll tiny balls of play dough to represent the teeth. Now you are ready to begin the game. The children take turns rolling the dice. They may then add that many teeth to their alligator. The winner is the first to fill the alligator’s mouth with fearsome teeth.

Mathematics/Numbers & operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Outdoor Play

Use a balance beam and practice walking the plank.  My class liked to use the edge of the sandbox as the balance beam.  They often played that if they fell off into the sandbox that there was an alligator or shark ready to eat them.  Encourage them to try walking forward, backward, and sliding along the beam.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Transitions

As the children go to the next activity ask them to answer a question about teeth and dental care. (What kind of doctor takes care of your teeth? When should you brush your teeth? What will happen if you do not brush your teeth? Is drinking soda pop healthy for your teeth? Is it ok to try to open things with your teeth? Why not?).

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as  fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety , and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

Dear Parent- today we talked about the importance of brushing our teeth.  Children should brush their teeth every day.  Watch your child to make sure that he/she is brushing up and down as well as back and forth.

Resources

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Dentists, by Cecila Minden

            This book answers the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of being a dentist.  This is a good book to use for further study of dentists.

Materials

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Small bowls
  • Old toothbrushes
  • 3-4 dirty pennies per child
  • Camera
  • Pictures of foods cut from magazines, off the Internet, or from a nutrition set

Vocabulary

  • Pediatric (a doctor whose patients are only children)
  • Cavity (a hole that occurs in your tooth from decay and not brushing)
  • Explorer (the pick like tool that dentists use)
  • Operatory (the special room that you see the dentist in that has his tools)

Before Reading the Story

           Begin a discussion about the many different kinds of jobs that are in your area.  Ask the children what they think they would like to be.  If no one says they want to be a dentist, ask them if they ever thought that a dentist would be a good job to have?  Introduce the book.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them.

Reading the Story

            This book has a lot of information that might be too much for preschool aged children.  Use this to do a picture walk and touch upon highlights on each page.  When the book talks about the education needed to be a dentist, make sure to tell the children that they have to continue to work hard at school and let them know that you are proud of them. 

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and poetry.

After Reading the Story

            Go back through the pages with the children asking who, what, where, when, and why questions and see which children are able to answer.  

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story. And Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules.

Discovery

Pour a small amount of baking soda and vinegar into several bowls to make a paste like consistency.  Have the children drop 3-4 dirty pennies into the baking soda and vinegar mixture.  Show them how to use the toothbrush to scrub the penny.  The combination of baking soda and vinegar will begin to clean the penny.  Talk about how the mixture is like your toothpaste and the penny is like your teeth.  Make the pennies shine. 

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Music and Movement

           Sing the Toothbrush Song to the tune of Here We Round the Mulberry Bush. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFrEVhOPwvc

We use our toothbrush to clean our teeth, clean our teeth, clean our teeth.

We use our toothbrush to clean our teeth after we eat.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules.

            Have the children sit in a circle and put on some lively music.  The children can pass a toothbrush around the circle and when the music stops the child holding the toothbrush must name something that you use your teeth for.  Expect children to repeat answers, which is o.k. because they are understanding that teeth are important.  If the children cannot think of something that they use their teeth for you can pantomime eating, chewing, talking, smiling, and biting. 

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Art

            Show the children how to form cubes with play dough by squeezing a ball on the sides and top.  Encourage the children to make a row of play dough cubes and gently stick them together.  Give the children Popsicle sticks or toothpicks and tell them to pretend that these are the “explorer” that the dentist uses.  Poke between the teeth, on top of the teeth, underneath the teeth. 

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations. AND Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences. AND Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; builds an increasing understanding of directionality, order, and positions of objects, and words such as up, down, over, under, top, bottom, inside, out-side, in front, and behind.

Library and Writing

            Remind the children that Dentists have to be good readers and writers.  On index cards write the word Dentist and tooth.  Encourage the children to copy the words onto a piece of paper. 

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

Make a book titled, “Whose Teeth?”  Take two pictures of the child.  One will be a picture of the child’s face as he/she is smiling.  The other will be just of the child’s smile so that you can see minimal amount of the face.  On the front page put the picture of the smile only and write, “Whose smile?”  On the back of the page put the picture of the child’s smiling face.  Ask the children to tell you something that makes them smile and write it under their picture.  (I smile when my Mom makes me pizza!  I smile when my Grandpa comes to my house). 

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

Blocks

            Challenge the children to use the blocks to make a letter T for tooth and a letter D for Dentist. Encourage them to try to make letters in their names.  

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress with associating th names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Dramatic Play

            Give the children some of the materials that you use at large group time (dry erase board, flannel board, an attendance sheet, etc.) and let the children play school. 

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Math and Manipulatives

            On a piece of paper draw a tooth and give it a happy face.  On another piece of paper draw a tooth and give it a sad face.  Let the children use the pictures of food that you have brought and sort them by food that is good for your teeth on the happy tooth and food that is not good for your teeth on the sad tooth. 

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in a series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as shape or size.

Outdoors

           Look for small rocks on the playground that look kind of like teeth.  Collect them in a bucket.  At the end of your outdoor time, help the children to count the number of ‘teeth’ that you have collected. 

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Transitions

            As children leave to go to the next center, ask them if they think they might like to be a dentist, make a graph of yes and no. 

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

As the children go to brush their teeth today say the following poem from the Colgate web site.

(Kerry’s)/_______ off the brush his/her teeth

The front, the sides, the back

He’ll/she’ll clean away and move away

The yucky, yucky plaque.

Dear Parent-

           Today we learned about what it takes to become a Dentist.  Ask your child if they think they would like to become a Dentist.  If they say yes, ask them why?  If the say no, ask them if they know what they would like to become?