Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Prehistory Unit, pt. 1: Through the Mesozoic Era

What really happened to the dinosaurs:

Does this mean we have to listen to all those alien abduction nut jobs now?

Creation Stories and The Big Bang Theory

Yes, we do both.  Our take is that everything is a theory.  Some theories are based on science, some on faith, but in the end we're all just trying to put the pieces together in a way that makes sense to us.  I approach this topic the same way I do any question she has about how different people believe different things.  I tell her this is what some people say, this is what other people say, this is what we believe. What feels right to you?  She usually has a very clear idea, so I just feed her info and stay out of her way.  She has very clear ideas on this one, too.  Something about the big bang but something about a meteor and physics and it all makes my head spin.  But, she will also tell you very clearly that she believes in God, and will point out that the seven days of creation mostly follow the order of evolution.  The kid gets symbolism.  Like I said, I just stay out of her way with these things and let her figure them out for herself.  

We actually began a lapbook for all of this, but neither of us were having any fun.  So we abandoned it.  Eh, we may try again another day.  But I know not to waste much energy on them.  At least not this year.

Life Before Dinosaurs

What do you do when your kid knows everything you can teach her about dinosaurs?  Learn about what came before them.  Sounds really boring, right?  Wrong.  These books were so cute:

When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life Long Before Dinosaurs     When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life before Dinosaurs


So cute.  And we actually learned a lot.  Both were pleasant surprises from the library.


Evolving Planet: Four Billion Years of Life on EarthSo, yeah.  Dinosaurs.  Since she was two years old, the kid has known the names of more dinosaurs than I even knew existed.  My challenge was finding books she hadn't read and something for her to learn.  We just planned a week or two during the summer, because really, every week is dinosaur week around here.  Still, we somehow ended up lingering on the subject much longer.  We learned about the three periods of the Mesozoic Era and learned which dinosaurs lived in which periods.  
Evolving Planet: Four Billion Years of Life on Earth was another pleasant surprise from the library.  It actually would have been great for some of the earlier stuff, too, and we're still using it as we read about early man.  

Other than that I'm not even going to begin to recommend books on dinosaurs.  Seriously, find the section at the library and teach from there.  There are plenty of great books.  You can even find some really cute books of poems, dino math books, and tons of dinosaur picture books.  

These were our favorite videos this year:


Yep, that's Elmo.  Harper loved that DVD.  Again, we found all of these at our library.  Oh and the Walking with Dinosaurs one is complete greatness.  It's from the BBC series.  Ella went with her Nana last spring to see the Walking with Dinosaurs Live Show, and she absolutely loved it.  If it comes near you, definitely see it.  


  1. Hi There :)

    We are doing a bit of a - Story of the Universe - unit at the moment as well. I need to get my act together and share some of the books we have used. :)

  2. Ooh--thanks for the great book suggestions! I've really enjoyed reading your blog since I found you on the blog hop! I'm nominating you for two awards!

    Here is the link:

  3. Can't wait to see what you guys use, Kylie!

    Thanks so much, Sparklee!


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