The Peacocks’ Dinosaur Topic Study (4 to 5 Year Olds)

From Ms. Michaela and Ms. Sally

In the Peacock class, we did a Topic Study on dinosaurs during the spring semester. Several of the kids had a significant interest in prehistoric life so we decided to dig further into the subject. We started by identifying all kinds of dinosaurs and their characteristics. This included things like their eating habits, where they lived, whether or not they traveled in packs, and even things like the number of toes they had. We also took a field trip to The Dinosaur Park in Bastrop toward the beginning of the Topic Study to further inspire and elaborate on specific dinosaurs we had just started discussing in class.

We also incorporated geology as the Peacocks learned about how our Earth looked all those millions of years ago. They discovered how commonly volcanic eruptions occurred and that the Earth’s overall temperature was warmer than it is now. We used the locations of dinosaur fossils as a sort of guide to learn about Pangaea and how our tectonic plates are moving all the time.

Learning about the Earth’s composition seemed like a great transition to learning more about rocks and exploring fossils and we jumped to learning about the rock cycle. The Peacocks learned about the three types of rocks, how they’re made, where we can find them, and how we use them in our everyday lives.

Throughout the duration of our Topic Study, the kids worked on creating an encyclopedia about dinosaurs. Each encyclopedia had three dinosaur pages in it; one for an omnivore, a carnivore, and a herbivore.

On these pages, the kids learned about and utilized different styles of art to decorate a silhouette of a dinosaur of their choice from each of these categories. They wrote a biography about each dinosaur and created a world map illustrating physical locations where that dinosaur’s fossils have been found. They then completed sequencing tasks to create a page about fossils. They put pictures in order to show how a living animal dies and decomposes over time and could one day be uncovered by weathering and erosion or by archeologists.

The kids created a timeline of the Mesozoic Era, where they labeled the various time periods and added pictures of dinosaurs that lived during each time.

The last page of their encyclopedia was a world map, where they assembled their very own Pangaea. The finished products were outstanding representations of their entire learning experience through our Topic Study on dinosaurs, and they were so much fun to make with our Peacocks!