RIC-20965 Early years Animals - Dinosaurs

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.




A complete unit of lessons and activities

Early years theme—Animals

Published by R.I.C. Publications ® 2010

Copyright © R.I.C. Publications ® 2010


Titles in this series:

Early years themes—Places

Early years themes—People

Early years themes—Animals

Early years themes—Science

Early years themes—Fantasy

Early years themes—Fairytales

Early years themes—Special days and celebrations

Accompanying resources:

Early years themes—Animals Posters (set of 5)

Early years themes—Animals Stickers (set of 5)

Early years themes Interactive CD (Places, People,

Animals, Science)

Early years themes Interactive CD (Fantasy, Fairytales,

Special days and celebrations)

This master may only be reproduced by the

original purchaser for use with their class(es). The

publisher prohibits the loaning or onselling of this

master for the purposes of reproduction.

Copyright Information

Only the blackline masters contained within this

publication may only be reproduced by the original

purchaser for use with their class(es). The publisher

prohibits the loaning or onselling of these blackline

masters for purposes of reproduction. No other part of

this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any

means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying

or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval

system, without written permission from the publisher.

Internet websites

In some cases, websites or specific URLs may be recommended. While these are checked and rechecked at the time of publication,

the publisher has no control over any subsequent changes which may be made to webpages. It is strongly recommended that the class

teacher checks all URLs before allowing students to access them.

View all pages online

PO Box 332 Greenwood Western Australia 6924

Website: www.ricpublications.com.au

Email: mail@ricgroup.com.au

Early themes —Animals


Early themes—Animals is one of a new series of teacher resource books designed to support teachers as they impart knowledge

about commonly-taught themes in early childhood classrooms. The books contain a variety of ideas for using the themes to

assist teachers as they convey early skills and concepts using cross-curricular activities in learning centres or whole class


Titles in this series include:

Early themes—Places Supporting materials available from R.I.C.

Early themes—People Publications ® to accompany these books

include posters, stickers and interactives.

Early themes—Animals

Early themes—Science

Early themes—Fantasy

Early themes—Fairytales

Early themes—Special days and celebrations


Teachers notes ......................................................................... iv – xiii

The format of this series of books ........................................... iv – v

An explanation of the icons ......................................................... vi

About the artwork ...................................................................... vii

About the resource sheets/blacklines ............................................ vii

Curriculum links ....................................................................... viii

Sample social skills checklist ...................................................... ix

Sample language skills checklist .................................................. x

Sample fi ne motor skills checklist ................................................ xi

Sample fundamental movement skills checklist ............................. xii

Sample mathematics skills checklist ........................................... xiii

Pets ............................................................................................1–20

Bears ........................................................................................21–40

Frogs .........................................................................................41–60

Minibeasts .................................................................................61–80

Dinosaurs ................................................................................81–100

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Animals iii

Teachers notes

The format of this series of books

This series of books is designed to cater for early childhood teachers who use learning centres and cross-curricular activities as

a basis for planning activities to develop key concepts and skills. Teachers will easily be able to locate activity-based learning

within this complete compilation of ideas.

All of the five themes within each book follow the same format over 20 pages. Each theme consists of:

1. A title or cover page with

appropriate artwork which the

teacher can utilise for themebased


2. A number of pages of cross-curricular learning activities to develop the

theme. Those themes which relate closely to a specifi c learning area may

have more activities in key learning areas such as science. All themes

have activities which are predominantly ‘hands-on’.

3. Background information with useful

facts about the theme.

4. A list of concepts to be developed

provides suggested developmentallyappropriate

learning outcomes that

are achieved by completing the


iv Early years themes—Animals www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

The format of this series of books

5. A small number of resource/blackline pages which can be used to create

games or oral language activities, as templates for art and craft activities

or as worksheets for more capable children who are beginning to read and

understand mathematical concepts.

6. Recipes relating to the theme—simple

cooking and non-cooking recipes,

including those for manipulative play,

such as ‘goop’.

7. Display ideas for art and craft or

specifi c learning centres.

8. A list of literature resources to

complement the theme, including

songs, action rhymes and fi ction

and nonfi ction books.

9. A notes section to enable the teacher

to record useful websites or resources

relating to the theme, or other

worthwhile activities or ideas etc.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Animals v

Teachers notes

An explanation of the icons

A number of icons have been used throughout the cross-curricular activities sections to make it easier and quicker for teachers to

locate appropriate learning activities.

Fine motor activities—building with blocks, puzzles, sorting, sand and water play, sensory items

such as ‘feely boxes’, playdough or clay work, threading, chalkboards, construction using recycled

materials such as boxes

Outdoor play—sand and/or water play (see also ‘fi ne motor activities’); gross motor activities such as

climbing, balancing, bikes, scooters, jumping, throwing, obstacle course activities etc.; tracking activities

using balloons and bubbles etc.; other messy art activities

Dramatic play—home corner, dramatising stories, dressing up, puppets, shopping etc.

Art and craft—free painting, directed and supervised painting,

craft (assisted and independent)

Computer—suggestions for simple games or activities (usually

individual or pairs) or relevant internet activities

Cooking—supervised activities, some of which use heat and others which do not

Games—indoor or outdoor games relating to literacy such as card games, memory

games etc.; mathematics, singing games, any physical education games involving

movement etc.

Writing—tracing, copying, writing on, and with, different things—cards, different types of paper etc.;

adding patterns or stripes etc.; tracking and following paths, dot-to-dot activities etc.

vi Early years themes—Animals www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

About the artwork

All the artwork in this series of books is:

• age-appropriate

• teacher- and child-friendly

• an additional resource to help develop the theme

• suitable for enlarging for:

~ colouring

~ handwriting

~ dot-to-dot sheets

~ use as templates for art and craft activities

~ visual texts to encourage oral language development.

Some artworks are based on simple shapes to support learning in the

mathematics area; others are more elaborate. It is expected that early

childhood teachers will view an illustration based on shapes and be

able to use this idea to develop concrete play activities using shapes or

as a technology and design project. More elaborate artwork is used to

demonstrate a teaching resource which needs to be made, a recipe, game

or other activity.

Examples of artwork relating to art and craft activities have wide, bold, easily

visible cutting outlines to allow the children some variation in the cutting path

they will use.

About the resource sheets/blacklines

All resource sheets/blacklines contain:

• simple, age-appropriate artwork

• prominent visual clues

• little or no text

• visual clues to support text pages

• few instructions, so as not to confuse

beginning readers

• teacher instructions in the margins with a

number of different suggestions for using the

resource sheet/blackline

• some literacy and numeracy activities.

These resource sheets/blacklines are included as

valuable time-savers for teachers.

It is anticipated that the teacher will enlarge any pages to

A3 size and photocopy them onto more durable paper or

card, to make them easier for learners of this age group to


The cross-curricular section of each theme includes a reference to resource

sheets/blacklines relating to specifi c activities.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Animals vii

Teachers notes

Curriculum links

All the learning activities in this series of books support the key learning areas of the current curriculum documents.

In particular, one or more activities also support each strand of the new English and Mathematics National Curriculum. The

specifi c strands from the National Curriculum relating to each activity are denoted by the words in brackets in the English and

Mathematics learning areas of the cross-curricular section.

For example, in ‘Bears’ theme:

English ‘Cut ‘focus’ letters from corrugated card or sandpaper and place on a writing table. The children place a

piece of white paper over the letters and rub the side of a crayon over the letters.’ (Language)

Mathematics ‘Children place fi ve different-sized teddy bears in order from smallest to biggest. They could repeat,

starting with the biggest bear.’ (Number and Algebra)

Reference to both is shown below.

Relevant curriculum reference






National Curriculum: refer to pages 6 and 11 of Shape of the Australian Curriculum: English

National Curriculum: refer to pages 6 and 7 of Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics

National Curriculum: Science learning activities also support pages 6 and 7 Shape of the Australian

Curriculum: Science

Belonging, being and becoming: The early years framework for Australia (2009)

Refer to Early years curriculum guidelines page 55 (Table 9: A

summary of the learning statements in the early learning areas)

and pages 61–75.

Refer to ‘Early years band: Age 3–Age 5’. South Australian

Curriculum, Standards and Accountability at < http://www.decs.

sa.gov.au/ >.

Refer to Victorian essential learning standards Level 1 at

< http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/vels/level1.html# >.

Refer to K-3 scope-and-sequence charts at < http://k-



viii Early years themes—Animals www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

Sample social skills checklist


Student name

separates easily

from parents

interacts readily

with adults

interacts readily

with peers

shares with others

and takes turns

participates in

group activities

cooperates with



responsibility for

own behaviour

respects the

property of others

respects the

feelings of others

listens without


expresses feelings


solves simple


is developing an

awareness of the

wider community

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Animals ix

Teachers notes

Sample language skills checklist


Student name

communicates needs clearly

articulates most words


relates personal experiences

contributes to discussions

uses age-appropriate


articulates most initial sounds


asks appropriate questions

speaks in complete sentences

relates events in order of


able to tell a story from


retells a familiar story without

pictures or clues

uses simple compound


responds appropriately to

questions about himself/herself

listens to a story for a given

length of time

follows simple two-step


knows his/her fi rst and last


recognises rhyming words

answers simple oral cloze


labels emotions such as

happy, sad, angry, scared …

x Early years themes—Animals www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

Sample fine motor skills checklist


Student name

completes simple puzzles

builds a tower of eight or

more small blocks

dresses himself/herself (apart

from buttons and shoelaces)

manipulates playdough to

create a specifi c object

places small pegs in small


threads small beads

uses scissors to cut out

simple shapes and pictures

completes simple folding


uses a knife, fork and spoon


holds a crayon or pencil


colours within lines

writes or copies own name

draws and copies simple


copies a sequence of letters

or numbers adequately

traces or recreates patterns

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Animals xi

Teachers notes

Sample fundamental movement skills checklist


Explicit teaching


Student name

balances on

one foot (static



jumps vertically

catches a ball or



throws a ball or

beanbag using an

overarm movement

gallops sideways



kicks a ball

strikes a ball or

object using a

two-handed strike

dodges a ball or


xii Early years themes—Animals www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

Sample mathematics skills checklist


Number and algebra Measurement and geometry Statistics and probability

Student name

recognises numerals 1 to

writes numerals 1 to

rote counts to

places numerals to

in correct order

understands one-to-one


understands ‘more than’ or ‘less


able to do simple addition and

subtraction using concrete materials

shares collections

creates or completes a pattern

measures using everyday items

makes comparison of size and


recognises basic shapes

identifi es attributes of objects and


is aware of use of devices for

measuring (scales, tape etc.)

shows awareness of

(money, temperature, time)

sorts or orders objects

is aware of collections and

presentations of data

interprets data in a display

makes predictions about chance


R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Animals xiii

Cross-curricular activities


• Over a couple of days, read and compare two books

about dinosaurs—one a fi ction text and the other a

nonfi ction text. Ask children what they liked about each

and how they were different. (Literature)

• Read some of the books written by Jane Yolen (see page

99) and compare the behaviour of the dinosaurs in the

story to that of real children. (Literature)

• View suitable television shows or DVDs such as Dorothy

the Dinosaur, The land before time or We’re back! A

dinosaur’s story. Discuss what is make-believe (the

dinosaurs can talk, people did not live when dinosaurs

did) or what could be true (many dinosaurs ate plants).


• Choose a fi ction book about dinosaurs that has a clear

setting, characters, and a plot with a beginning, middle

and end. Read and discuss the story with the children.

They can then draw something they remembered from the

story. Children can show their picture to a small group

or the whole class and retell that part of the story in their

own words (with prompting if necessary). (Literature,


• Children participate in visual discrimination activities.

Draw rows of dinosaur pictures (you could copy and

cut dinosaur pictures like those on page 90 to use as a

template). Make one dinosaur in each row different; e.g.

facing a different direction, has a tail missing. Children

have to identify the odd one out. (Literacy)

• Using a large picture, point to various parts of a dinosaur.

Ask children for the word that names that part. Then ask if

they can think of a rhyming word; e.g. claw–saw, plate–

late, tail–snail. (Language)

• Display a selection of dinosaur pictures and discuss their

features. Give children ‘What am I?’ clues to guess the

dinosaur you are describing. Children could give their

own clue suggestions for others to guess. (Literacy)

• Children make up dinosaur names based on their own

name; e.g. Dylannosaurus, Bronteraptor, Zacodon.


• Children think of describing words (adjectives) for

different dinosaurs; e.g. tyrannosaurus: scary, fi erce,

terrible, huge; velociraptor: small, fast. (Literacy)

• Circle game: In circles of fi ve to six, children take turns

fi nishing sentences such as: ‘If I was a dinosaur, I would

be a ...’, ‘If I had a pet dinosaur, I would ...’.

As an extension activity, glue pictures of different dinosaurs

on card and attach a length of wool so it can fi t over a

child’s head. Place one picture around a child, with the

picture facing the back so only the other children can

see. The child has to ask questions about the dinosaur’s

features in order to guess the dinosaur. (Pictures of

dinosaurs could be displayed for the child to view and

assist with questions he or she asks.) (Literacy)

• Give each child or pair of children a page with several

dinosaur outlines, each with a different letter on it.

Children pick a letter card from a stack. They check if that

letter is on a dinosaur on their sheet and either cover it

with a counter, mark it with a cross or put an ink stamp

on it. This can be played as a letter identifi cation activity,

or as a game in which the fi rst to cover all their dinosaurs

is the winner. (Language)

• Identify upper- and lower-case letters by fi nding matching

dinosaur jigsaw halves. (Refer to the blackline on page

95.) (Language)

• Look at the names of different dinosaurs. Use the initial

letter and/or a picture clue to match the words to a set of

dinosaur pictures. (Refer to blacklines on pages 90 and

91.) (Language)

• Provide a variety of fi ction and nonfi ction texts for

students to view. Place them in a centre in the classroom.

A follow-up activity could be for them to draw a picture

about something they learned and the teacher scribes a

sentence underneath. (Literature)

• Make up alliterative sounding names for different

dinosaurs. Children can trace over the names written

by the teacher and attach them to different dinosaurs

created in the Visual arts activity on page 87; for

example: Stanley Stegosaurus, Tracey Triceratops,

Iggy Iguanodon. (Language)

• Create a class dinosaur book. Each child draws and

colours a dinosaur on a sheet of paper. The teacher can

scribe the name of the dinosaur or children can copy or

trace the name. Staple the pages together to form the book.

(Language, Literacy)

82 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Dinosaurs – 1


• Make a class pictograph on a chart or display board of the

children’s favourite/most feared dinosaurs. (Refer to the

blackline on page 90 for pictures.) (Statistics and Probability)

• From felt pieces, cut out dinosaur ‘bones’ of various lengths.

Children use uniform, informal units to measure each bone;

e.g. interconnecting cubes, counters, MAB unit cubes. (Children

could also estimate before measuring.) (Measurement and


• Make up simple mazes for children to identify and draw the

correct path for a dinosaur to reach its destination. (Refer to the

blackline on page 93.) (Measurement and Geometry)

• Photocopy (or colour) the pictures of different

dinosaurs on page 90 on different-coloured paper.

Cut them out and give each child one dinosaur.

Children have to fi nd the classmate with the same

colour of dinosaur. (Number and Algebra)

• Use two sets of dinosaur pictures to write a

number on one dinosaur and the corresponding

number of dots on its match. Give each child a

card. Children have to fi nd the partner with the

matching number/number of dots. (Refer to page

90 for pictures.) (Number and Algebra)

• This activity will help children realise the length of different dinosaurs. Place a witch’s hat in a long open area outside.

Take one long stride to equal one metre. Using the following measurements to stride out different dinosaur’s lengths,

place another witch’s hat at the end of each measured length for the children to stand back and compare: velociraptor: 2

m, ankylosaurus: 8 m, iguanodon, stegosaurus, triceratops: 9 m, allosaurus, tyrannosaurus: 12 m, diplodocus: 27 m.

(Measurement and Geometry)

• Draw an outline of a stegosaurus on construction paper. The children paint the

outline. Collect a pile of clothes pegs as the ‘plates’ on its back. Children roll a

dice or choose a number card from a pile. They must recognise the number,

count the correct number of pegs and attach them to the stegosaurus’s back.

(Number and Algebra)

• Children identify matching numbers and number names, or

numbers and array of dots, by matching dinosaur jigsaw halves.

(Refer to the blackline on page 95.) (Number and Algebra)

• Give each child or pair of children a sheet with several dinosaur

outlines, each with a different number or shape on it. Children

pick a number/shape card from a stack, or roll a dice. They

check if that number/shape is on a dinosaur on their sheet and

either cover it with a counter, mark it with a cross or put an ink

stamp on it. This can be played as an identifi cation activity, or

as a game in which the fi rst to cover all their dinosaurs is the

winner. (Refer to the blackline on page 90 for pictures.) (Number

and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry)

• Use the templates on page 89 to make sets of cards for a game

of ‘Count the dinosaur’s eggs’. Before photocopying, the teacher

draws a number of eggs in the ‘nest’ and writes three numbers

in the blank boxes (appropriate to the children’s level of ability),

one of which matches the number of eggs. Children use one-toone

correspondence to count the eggs. They use a clothes peg

and clip it to the card to identify the correct amount. (Number

and Algebra)

• Create a large dinosaur footprint on a sheet of

paper. It could be that of an apatosaurus or

tyrannosaurus. Trace and cut out a child’s footprint.

Compare the size of each. Children guess how

many footprints would fi t inside the dinosaur’s.

Continue tracing and cutting out children’s

footprints until the dinosaur’s is covered. Compare

estimates. (Measurement and Geometry)

• Use two sets of dinosaur pictures to write a number

on one dinosaur and the corresponding number of

dots or stripes on a matching dinosaur. Give each

child a card. Children have to fi nd a partner with

the matching number or number of dots/stripes.

(Refer to page 90 for pictures.) (Number and


• Place pictures of dinosaurs, or toy dinosaurs, in

a row. Ask children ordinal questions such as:

‘Which dinosaur is second?’ or point to a dinosaur

and ask the child to count ‘fi rst’, ‘second’ etc. to tell

you its correct ordinal place in the row. (Number

and Algebra)

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 83

Cross-curricular activities

Society and environment

• Read books from the Jane Yolen series about dinosaur characters. (See page 99.) The books contain a variety of concepts

dealing with correct behaviour at home and school that can be discussed with the children after enjoying the book.

• Once children are familiar with a few dinosaurs, discuss if any would make a good pet. A child might suggest that a

tyrannosaurus wouldn’t because it might want to eat him/her, but a stegosaurus might because it would eat grass and there

would be no need to mow the lawn.

• Visit a museum that has a dinosaur display for children to experience.


• Show children pictures of different types of dinosaurs. (The poster

supplied with this book could be used.) Identify and discuss the

major features of each one, along with each dinosaur’s name.

Depending on children’s interest and level of understanding, further facts about

specifi c dinosaurs could be presented to the children. Suggested website:

• Show children pictures of dinosaurs with sharp teeth and claws (meat eaters)

and those with plates, spikes (for protection from meat eaters) and blunt

teeth for grinding (plant eaters). This will help explain the meaning

of the terms. Children might like to know the words ‘carnivore’ and


• Show children a variety of colour dinosaur pictures and discuss what is the same and what is different among them. This

will assist the children to understand how they were all reptiles. Their differences were of size, diet, physical features, way

of moving etc.

• In simple terms, explain to the children what fossils are. (See page 88.) Children might also like to know that a

‘palaeontologist’ is a scientist who studies fossils. Make fossils by impressing the shape of toy dinosaurs or dinosaur

footprints made from modelling clay into playdough.

• Place small plastic dinosaurs, pasta noodles (‘bones’) or chicken bones (boiled in salted water to sterilise) in a sand tray.

Hide them from view. Children can pretend to be palaeontologists and use craft sticks to carefully search for the ‘fossils’

and uncover them. Alternatively, the bones can be placed in playdough, dried in the oven until rock hard and then placed

in the sand tray. When children uncover them, they can use a variety of ‘tools’ to break open the rock and fi nd a ‘fossilised


• Volcanoes were a feature of the landscape during the time of the dinosaurs. Show children scenes of what scientists believe

the landscape looked like at the time. Then children can help make a volcano.


1. Place an empty two-litre soft drink bottle on a large pan with sides.

2. Crumple paper around the bottle to make a general volcano shape. Then use

playdough or modelling clay around the paper shape to form the cone of

the volcano with the bottle inside.

3. Using a funnel, pour tepid water into the bottle to about three-quarters

full. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent, some red food

colouring and four tablespoons of baking soda. When you are

ready for the ‘eruption’, pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottle.

(To make further eruptions, add more baking soda and vinegar.)

84 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Dinosaurs – 2

Health and physical education

• Play ‘tyrannosaurus tag’. Use witch’s hats to set a boundary on a grassed area. One child is the meat-eating tyrannosaurus

and the others are plant eaters. When tyrannosaurus tags a plant eater, he or she sits cross-legged on the ground. The last

plant eater to be tagged becomes the new tyrannosaurus.

• Play ‘Don’t fall in the swamp’. Place two ropes along the ground, about 30 cm apart to begin with. Children pretend to

be dinosaurs jumping across the ‘swamp’. Slowly extend the distance after children have all had a turn at the previous


• Play ‘Simon says’ but include dinosaur movement instructions in the orders; e.g. ‘Simon says stomp like a stegosaurus’,

‘Simon says run lightly like a velociraptor’.

• Set up a ‘Dinosaur obstacle course’. Use witch’s hats, ropes, hoops, large cardboard boxes, old tyres, dinosaur footprints

made from thick card that have been laminated for durability, laundry baskets etc. Children have to make their way over,

under, along, through or around the objects on the course. They can walk like a specifi c dinosaur; e.g. thundering on two

legs like a tyrannosaurus, moving slower and steady like a diplodocus on four legs, or lightly running like a velociraptor.

• Play ‘Save the dinosaur eggs’. Place a rope in a circle on the ground at one end of a grassed area and another at the other

side. Place a pile of ‘dinosaur eggs’ (beanbags) in one circle or ‘nest’. Two children are meat-eating dinosaurs trying to

steal the eggs. The other children are plant-eating dinosaurs trying to save the eggs. The plant eaters take one egg at a time

from the nest and try to place them in the other nest. If a meat eater tags a plant eater, he or she has to put the egg back in

the original nest, sit down and count to thirty before continuing the game.

• Cut a hole in each of two shoebox lids. Make them big enough but not too big for

children’s feet to slip out of. (Crumpled newspaper can be added to help feet fi t snuggly.)

Tape each lid to its box. Children can then paint, use markers and add cut-out claws to

make dinosaur feet. Hold dinosaur races and relays.

Dinosaurs such as triceratops and diplodocus are believed to have

travelled in herds. Divide children into two groups—‘triceratops’ and

‘diplodocus’. The groups have to crawl as a ‘herd’ to various destinations,

either inside or outside the classroom.

• Hide plastic dinosaurs—or those made from playdough or modelling

clay children have made in craft/science activities—in the classroom or

in a set area outside. Children pretend to move like dinosaurs and see

how many they can fi nd.

• Play ‘Feed the dinosaur’. Children help to make and paint a large dinosaur’s head; e.g. tyrannosaurus. (Use thick card

or plaster board.) Cut out a hole for the mouth and add cardboard teeth. Prop the head up against a chair or across a

doorway. Children have turns trying to throw beanbags into the mouth to feed the dinosaur.

• Play ‘Pin the horn on the triceratops’. Children help to paint a large triceratops on construction paper, minus one of the

three horns on its head. Give each child a horn made from paper with double-sided tape at one end. Taking turns, blindfold

children and have them attempt to put their horn on the correct place on the triceratops.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 85

Cross-curricular activities


• Make dinosaur sock puppets for children

to use in mini dinosaur dramas. Children

can paint a row from an egg carton to

be the scales or bumps on a dinosaur’s

back. Glue to one length of a sock. Add

googly eyes, buttons or pinch two small

circles at the front of the

sock and tie with cotton

to form eyes.

• Watch a Wiggles DVD and learn the ‘Dorothy the Dinosaur dance’.

• Children move like different dinosaurs: stomping like a triceratops,

lumbering like an apatosaurus, tearing fl esh like a tyrannosaurus,

running lightly like a velociraptor or hatching from an egg like a baby


• One child pretends to move and act like a specifi c dinosaur and the

others have to guess which one he or she is.

• Attach paper bags to children’s feet. They can stomp around

like dinosaurs.

• Make ‘dinosaur snouts’ from a paper or plastic cup with a

triangle cut out in the bottom. Attach hat elastic so it will fi t over

the children’s heads. They pretend to be different dinosaurs,

making roaring, snorting, breathing noises.

• Children scrunch up into a ball and imagine they are a baby

dinosaur yet to hatch out of an egg. Tell them to tap the inside

of the egg with their ‘beak’ (nose) to crack it. They keep tapping

until the eggshell has broken in half. They stretch their front legs

and back legs and gradually squirm out of their shell. They are

a bit unsteady on their feet for a while, but manage to stand up.

Then they check out their new world and fi nd a plant to eat (or

a leftover carcass if a meat eater), hide from an enemy etc.


• Children use various musical instruments to create a soundscape of life during the age of the dinosaurs. They can move like

dinosaurs as they play the instruments.

• Form a ‘Prehistoric animal brigade band’ and sing the song while marching in the band. Refer to for the tune.

• Clap rhythm patterns/syllables using dinosaur names (e.g. dip/lo/do/cus), clapping each syllable

or playing a musical triangle in rhythm.

• Move like dinosaurs according to the music; e.g. loud and slow like a diplodocus; loud,

heavy but quicker, like a tyrannosaurus; light and quick like a velociraptor.

Technology (and design)

• Provide a variety of different-sized boxes: cereal boxes, shoeboxes etc.; paper

scraps; glue; scissors; tape; crayons; markers; and paints and paintbrushes.

In pairs, children design and make a dinosaur model using the materials.

• Children imagine they have a pet dinosaur. They talk about what would be needed to keep a

dinosaur as a pet and plan what it would need; e.g. an enclosure where it could be kept, how

to feed it, how to bathe it, how it would get exercise. These plans can be talked about and drawn

on large sheets of paper.

86 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Dinosaurs – 3

Visual arts

• Draw large outlines of different dinosaurs. Children paint these with paint rollers, corks, vegetable prints and other objects to

get a scaly textured effect. When dry, children can help label each dinosaur. Describing words about each dinosaur could be

added as they learn interesting facts about each one.

• Use the playdough recipe on page 96 to mould dinosaur shapes. Display each with a label.

• Make papier-mâché dinosaur eggs. Make a glue by stirring three parts water with one part plain fl our until mixture is

smooth and creamy. Children help to tear lots of newspaper into narrow strips. Blow up a balloon for each child. (A toy

dinosaur can be placed inside before blowing it up.) Children dip strips of newspaper into the glue mixture (or use a stiff

paintbrush). Lay the strips around the balloon. Have at least two layers surrounding the balloon, with each layer drying

overnight. Allow the fi nished egg to completely dry for a few days. Children can then decorate the eggs with paint or markers.

Explain to them that scientists have not discovered what colour dinosaurs’ eggs were. They may have been camoufl aged

to blend in with twigs, mud, fallen leaves etc. Some were placed in nests dug from the soil. Later, children can ‘crack’ their

egg and ‘hatch’ their baby dinosaur.

• Give children an outline of a dinosaur. They can either glue pasta noodles around the outline or cover the interior.

• Children can complete a similar activity to that above by tearing strips of green or brown coloured paper and gluing it to cover

the interior of a dinosaur outline.

• Children make dinosaurs, using a small plate as the basis for

the body. Cut out feet, heads, tails, scales, horns etc. from other

paper plates. Children can choose various parts and then colour

and decorate them by painting or using crayons or markers.

Assist them to staple or glue the parts together to make their

own dinosaurs. A length of wool or ribbon could be added

to hang them for display.

• After children have coloured in and cut out a stegosaurus

outline made from card, assist them to use a thick needle

threaded with wool to sew around the edge. (Refer to the

blackline on page 92.)

• Children make stuffed paper dinosaurs. Enlarge outlines of

dinosaurs (the pictures on page 90 could be used) and give

each child two identical copies. Staple the two copies together

around the edges, leaving a gap wide enough for the children

to stuff the dinosaur. They decorate both sides of the dinosaur and

add eyes, nostrils, a scaly covering etc. Crayons, paint, markers and

stickers can be used. Children stuff the dinosaurs with crumpled paper,

newspaper or tissue paper. When fi nished, staple the gap for them.

• Gluing a variety of dried pasta on black construction paper is an effective way to make and display dinosaur skeletons; for

example: spaghetti, rotini, macaroni, rigatoni, linguine. (Cut up long pieces to desired lengths.)

• Draw a simple outline of a dinosaur’s face on thick card.

Children sponge paint or use wax crayon to make markings

before applying green, brown or grey watercolour paint. Cut

out the shape and eye holes to make a mask. Attach elastic to

the back. Refer to the blackline on page 94 for an example of

a triceratops.

• Children pretend to be a dinosaur that is painting. Wear a

painting shirt and put a sock on their painting hand to make it

seem as if they don’t have hands (like dinosaurs didn’t). They

paint either a prehistoric scene or an abstract painting using

tempera paint and thick or long-handled paintbrushes.

• Make dinosaur handprints. Tape the children’s

ring and little fi nger together, and their second

and third fi ngers together. They place their hand

in a tray of greenish, brownish or greyish paint

and then press their hand fi rmly onto a sheet

of paper. These could be displayed with each

child’s name. Compare handprints. They could

also be used in counting games.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 87

Teacher background information

The name ‘dinosaurs’ is given to the group of extinct prehistoric reptiles which lived during the Mesozoic era, about 230 million

years ago. Dinosaurs existed for about 165 million years, mysteriously disappearing about 65 million years ago.

The word ‘dinosaur’ comes from two Greek words—’deino’ and ‘saurus’—meaning ‘terrible lizard’ or ‘fearfully great reptile’. Many

of them were among the largest animals to have lived on Earth.

All dinosaurs lived on land—none fl ew or lived in water. Any animals that did this are termed prehistoric animals. There were

many different kinds of dinosaurs but they didn’t all live at the same time. Each species probably only lived for four to fi ve million

years through the Triassic, Jurassic and, fi nally, the Cretaceous periods during the Mesozoic era. Dinosaurs were divided into two

groups—lizard-hipped (Saurischia) and bird-hipped (Ornithischia).

Much of the knowledge we have gained about dinosaurs has come from fossils. Fossils are the remains of an animal or plant

from long ago. Most fossils are made from hard, bony parts, such as bones, teeth and claws. Over time, these have been covered

with sand and mud and become hard like stone. Trace fossils are the remains of a body part such as droppings, nests and eggs;

or marks made by animals, such as footprints. A palaeontologist is a scientist who studies fossils. A lot of information has been

discovered about dinosaurs in relation to variations in walking, speed of movement, size, feeding habits, coverings and method of

protecting themselves. Not much is known about the colours, patterns, sounds, behaviour or mating habits.

There are two main groups of dinosaurs—herbivores (plant eaters) and carnivores (meat eaters). A few dinosaurs were omnivores

(ate both plants and animals). Carnivores had strong sharp teeth and claws to kill and tear their prey apart. They usually had strong

legs to pursue their prey. Herbivores had hard blunt teeth for tearing leaves or fl at teeth for grinding plants.

Dinosaurs had tough skin covered with scales. Many of them had built-in ‘armour’ for protection against carnivorous species.

Examples of these defensive ‘weapons’ included horns, spikes, frills, tail clubs and armoured plates.

Scientists don’t know exactly why the dinosaurs became extinct. Some believe the climate of the world became too cold and the

dinosaurs died. Others believe the meat-eating dinosaurs killed so many that the remainder were not able to survive. Another theory

is that the fi rst appearance of fl owering plants caused the plant-eating dinosaurs to be poisoned. The most popular theory, however,

is that a massive meteorite hit Earth, covering it in thick clouds of dust that blocked the sun. Extremely rapid environmental changes

occurred, to which the dinosaurs (and many other animals) were unable to adjust. No dinosaur fossils have been found from 65

million years ago, lending support to this mass extinction theory.

Note: Websites such as gives teachers basic background

information and illustrations about a variety of dinosaurs.

Concepts to be developed

Dinosaurs lived a very long time ago, before people lived on Earth.

Dinosaurs were reptiles.

Dinosaurs lived on land.

• Most dinosaurs hatched from eggs.

• Some dinosaurs were meat eaters and some dinosaurs were plant eaters.

• Some dinosaurs walked on two legs and others walked on four legs.

• Some dinosaurs could run fast and others were slow moving.

• Some dinosaurs were huge and others were quite small.

• Fossils tell us information about dinosaurs.

• A person who studies dinosaurs is called a palaeontologist.

88 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Dinosaur counting templates

Instructions: In each card, the teacher draws a different amount of eggs in each nest and writes three different numbers in the blank boxes, one of which matches the number of eggs.

Photocopy onto thick card, colour and laminate. Children use a clothes peg to clip onto the correct number.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 89

Dinosaur pictures

Instructions: Can be enlarged to A3. Colour, cut out and laminate (optional) the pictures. Use with matching labels on page 91,

Maths pictograph on page 83 or use the pictures for teacher-made worksheets or games.

90 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Dinosaur labels

Instructions: Can be enlarged to A3. Colour, cut out and laminate (optional). Use with or without the picture clues to label the dinosaurs on page 90 or for the children to trace or copy at a writing centre.









R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 91

Sew the


Instructions: Photocopy onto thick card. Use a hole puncher to make holes in solid dots. Children can use crayons, pencils and markers to colour their stegosaurus. Cut up lengths of thick,

different-coloured wool. Children choose a colour. Assist them to thread wool onto large, blunt needles and demonstrate how to sew around the outline.

92 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Dinosaur maze

Instructions: Children follow a maze to help stegosaurus fi nd its way to the other dinosaurs. Before children use a pencil or crayon to draw the path through the maze, they should use their

eyes and a fi nger to plot the path. They might also draw light dots on the path in case an error is made before drawing the actual path.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 93

Triceratops mask

Instructions: Photocopy onto thick card. Children can sponge paint the outline or use wax crayons to make features and wash with green, brown or grey watercolour paint.

Assist them to cut out the shape and eye holes. Staple elastic at the back of the mask about 3 cm towards the edge from each eye hole to custom fi t to each child’s head.

94 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Dinosaur jigsaw match

Instructions: Photocopy required amount onto card to make sets of cards. On each set, either write matching upper- and

lower-case letters, numbers and dots or number and number name on each jigsaw half. Colour, cut out and laminate.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 95


Dinosaur egg snack

Dinosaur egg soap


• hard-boiled, unshelled eggs

• green food colouring


• Place hard-boiled, unshelled eggs in bowls of water with

green food colouring added to desired shade. Lift out with a

slotted spoon and dry on paper towels. Use felt-tipped pens

to put speckles on the eggs. Place in a ‘nest’—a basket fi lled

with paper straw. Children can crack open their egg and

enjoy it at snack time.


• dry soap fl akes

• water


• Make a paste of soap fl akes and water. Form it into an egg

shape around a plastic dinosaur. Allow to dry. The eggs

will ‘hatch’ when immersed in water such as when children

wash their hands or during bath/shower time.


(for use with moulding dinosaurs etc.)


• 2 cups plain fl our

• 4 tbs. cream of tartar

• 2 tbs. cooking oil

• 1 cup salt

• 2 cups water

• food colouring


• Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until all congealed. Add drops of chosen colour of food colouring

and mix by hand until desired colour is achieved.


• 175 g butter

• 300 g caster sugar

• 1 egg

• 1 tsp. vanilla essence

• 350 g plain fl our

• decorations: sultanas, raisins,

currants, mixed peel, choc bits,



Dinosaur cookies

• Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fl uffl y.

Mix in egg and vanilla. Add sifted fl our and mix well

to form a dough. Knead the dough on a lightly fl oured

surface. With clean hands, children shape lumps of dough

into different dinosaur shapes. Dough can also be used with

dinosaur cookie cutters. Decorate the dinosaurs. Bake at 180 °C

for 10 minutes.

96 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Jelly dinosaur fossils

Spiky dinosaur tails


• 3 to 4 packets jelly crystals

• slices of fruit cut up into ‘dinosaur bone’ shapes


• Make jelly according to directions. Pour into 3 to 4 clear

bowls or containers. (Allow to cool slightly if using plastic

containers.) Add cut up fruit and allow to set. Children ‘dig’

for ‘dinosaur fossils’ using a plastic spoon.


• half banana, cut widthwise (for each child)

• cooked popcorn or choc bits


• For each child, place half a banana on a plate. Children

take several choc bits or unbuttered popcorn to put on top

of the banana at intervals to be the spikes on a dinosaur’s

tail. Squash each piece slightly into the banana. Eat with a

spoon or fi ngers.

Stegosaurus sandwiches


• sliced white, brown or wholemeal bread

• bananas, cut lengthways and then into four pieces

• raisins

• corn chips

• mild salsa dip, fruit chutney, mild mustard, cream cheese,

slices of ham (optional)


• Choose a condiment to spread onto slices of bread. Add a

slice of ham (optional). Top with another bread slice. Cut into four

triangles. Place the triangles, pointed side up, on serving plates. (Put the

triangles with the same fi lling on the same serving plate to make it easier for children

to choose.) Wedge three to four corn chips into each sandwich to make the stegosaurus’s

plates. Put one banana slice at one end of the sandwich as its head. Place two raisins on each

side of the banana as the eyes.

Meat-eater and plant-eater platters


• Meat-eater suggestions: ham, polony/devon,

chicken and other cold meats that have been

rolled up or cut into bite-sized chunks; dips or

spreads using tins of tuna or salmon mixed

with cream cheese.

• Plant-eater suggestions: selection of fruit cut

into slices or chunks, selection of vegetables

cut up into slices or bite-sized chunks, dips

or spreads using vegetables as a base; e.g.

avocado dip.


• Arrange the foods on different platters. Revise

or discuss how some dinosaurs were meateaters

(carnivores) and others were planteaters

(herbivores). Talk about what these

words mean and what foods belong in each

category. Children can then become meateaters

and plant-eaters.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 97

Display ideas

Land of the dinosaurs classroom

• Turn the classroom into the land of the dinosaurs. Children can help create model volcanoes, ferns and trees to set the scene.

Dinosaurs created in the activity on page 87 can be added to the display. Plastic dinosaurs and real or artifi cial trees and plants

could be also be used.

Where does my dinosaur live?

• Children create models of a favourite dinosaur with modelling clay. Make palm tree forests using cardboard rolls, plants from

strips of card that have been painted green and lakes or rivers from pieces of blue or green cellophane. Children place their

dinosaur on the display in the correct habitat. The teacher or child can make a label of the dinosaur’s name to lay next to it.

Dinosaur teeth display

• Use playdough to make the teeth of different types of dinosaurs. Display them with labels of the name of each dinosaur. Drawn

or cut out pictures of the foods they ate could be placed next to each tooth.

Number charts

• Make number charts with number name, numeral and dot number array using pictures of different dinosaurs; e.g. 1 – one

triceratops, 2 – two stegosaurus, 3 – three diplodocus. Number charts using an array of dinosaur footprints could also be used

instead of dinosaur pictures.

Colour charts

• Make colour charts by putting a circle of colour and the colour’s name in different dinosaurs.

Dinosaur footprints

• Children sponge print large outlines of dinosaur footprints. Cover with clear adhesive

plastic covering and cut out. Attach Velcro to the back or use double-sided tape. Lay

a path of dinosaur footprints along a carpeted or tiled area of the classroom. Children

follow the path to a learning centre etc.

Felt board story display

• Set up an area with a felt board for children to access. From coloured pieces of felt, cut out

dinosaur shapes, eggs, nests, trees, ferns, ponds and lakes etc. Children can make up felt

board stories of their own or act out learned fi ngerplays.

Dinosaur egg display

• Display the papier-mâché eggs made in Visual arts on page 87. Egg-laying sites made from twigs, fallen leaves, small rocks

etc. could be placed in two or three areas around the classroom or school library.

Dinosaur cave learning centre

• Place a brown sheet, quilt cover etc. over a table to make a dinosaur ‘cave’. Add dinosaur eggs and other items made in visual

arts. Children can complete activities in their cave.

98 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Literature resources – 1


• Big book of dinosaurs/Touch and feel: Dinosaur by DK Publishing

• Bumpus jumpus dinosaurumpus! by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees

• Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julie Donaldson

• The magic school bus in the time of the dinosaurs by Joanna Cole

• If the dinosaurs came back/How big were the dinosaurs? by Bernard Most

• Saturday night at the dinosaur stomp by Carol Diggory Shields

• Bones, bones, dinosaur bones by Byron Barton

• The dinosaur who lived in my backyard by BG Hennessey

• Dazzle the dinosaur by Marcus Pfi ster

• The last dinosaur egg by Andrew Hegeman

• Digging up dinosaurs by Aliki

• Ten terrible dinosaurs by Paul Stickland

• Series written by Jane Yolen: How do

dinosaurs ... Examples: How do dinosaurs

eat their food? How do dinosaurs clean

their rooms? How do dinosaurs count to

ten? (and several others)

• Dinosaur roar! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland

Songs, action rhymes, fingerplays and poems

Five little dinosaurs

Five little dinosaurs

playing near the swamp.

Along came tyrannosaurus.

Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

Continue the chant but substitute ‘fi ve’ with ‘four’,

‘three’, ‘two’ and ‘one’. Children can hold up the

correct number of fi ngers for each verse.

That’s prehistoric!

(Sung to the tune of ‘London Bridge is falling down’.)

Dinosaurs lived long ago,

Long ago, long ago.

Dinosaurs lived long ago,

That’s prehistoric!

Triceratops had three sharp horns,

Three sharp horns, three sharp horns.

Triceratops had three sharp horns,

That’s prehistoric!

Other verses:

Tyrannosaurus was very fi erce …

Stegosaurus had bony plates …

Iguanodon had a spike on each thumb …

Diplodocus had a very long neck …

Ankylosaurus had heavy armour …

Allosaurus had sharp teeth and claws …

Velociraptor ran very fast …

Dinosaur dinosaur

(Sung to the tune of: ‘Teddy bear, teddy bear’.)

Dinosaur, dinosaur, stomped around,

Dinosaur, dinosaur, shook the ground,

Dinosaur, dinosaur, some gave fear,

Dinosaur, dinosaur, we wish you were here.

The dinosaur went over the mountain

(Sung to the tune of ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’.)

The dinosaur went over the mountain,

The dinosaur went over the mountain,

The dinosaur went over the mountain,

To see what it could see.

To see what it could see,

To see what it could see.

The other side of the mountain,

The other side of the mountain,

The other side of the mountain,

Was all that it could see!

Substitute dinosaur names in place of ‘dinosaur’;

e.g. tyrannosaurus, triceratops.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs 99

Literature resources – 2

Songs, action rhymes, fingerplays and poems

Dinosaur march

(Sung to the tune of ‘The ants go marching’.)

The dinosaurs go marching one by one

Hurrah! Hurrah!

The dinosaurs go marching one by one

Hurrah! Hurrah!

The dinosaurs go marching one by one

The little one stopped to stand in the sun

And they all go marching up and down and round and round.

Other verses:

two by two/see the view

three by three/eat from a tree

four by four/give a roar

fi ve by fi ve/say, ‘I’m alive’

six by six/step on some sticks

seven by seven/count to eleven

eight by eight/because he was late

nine by nine/scratch his spine

ten by ten/to fi nd a den

The dinosaur song

(Sung to the tune of ‘The wheels of the bus’.)

Tyrannosaurus went, ‘Grr, Grr, Grr!’

‘Grr, Grr, Grr. Grr, Grr, Grr!’

Tyrannosaurus went, ‘Grr, Grr, Grr!’

All around the swamp.

Other verses:

Ankylosaurus’s armour went clunk, clunk, clunk …

Stegosaurus’s tail went spike, spike, spike …

Iguanadon went munch, munch, munch …

Triceratops’s horns went poke, poke, poke …

Velociraptor’s legs went run, run, run …

Diplodocus went plod, plod, plod …

Allosaurus went roar, roar, roar …

(Children do actions while singing.)


100 Early years themes—AnimalsDinosaurs www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!