Our dinosaur inquiry started when a student brought in a dinosaur tooth from home!
You see, students bring things in all the time - photos or artefacts from a vacation, nature items collected on their way to school, small trinkets or toys to use in class, etc.
I always invite the students to share their treasure with the class and we usually leave them in a special spot for others to take a closer look.
The dinosaur tooth was instantly popular by many! We saw over the course of the day many students use magnifying glasses and sketch the tooth or ask the student who brought it in all about where he got it and which dinosaur the tooth belonged to.
The next day we set up a provocation for the students to dig a little deeper into dinosaurs to see if there was a spark.
There were so many great conversations happening at this table that my teaching partner and I felt we should bring this to whole group sharing time.
*Please excuse the messy writing but our students were so intrigued and our conversation was so deep that it was hard to keep up with their wonders!*
We usually start an inquiry by asking the children what they think and wonder. We branch off and plan our inquiry from there.
We knew that one of the biggest questions students had was about where they came from and why they no longer existed.
I found these hatching eggs (leave them in water overnight for them to hatch) from the Dollar Store. We just left them in jars for students to wonder what they could be. We didn't add water for a few days as we really wanted to hear the students' thinking.
When we finally did add water we had students sitting around the table nearly all day waiting and watching to see what would happen!
The students loved watching the eggs hatch that later on that week another student brought in a similar experiment - these small capsules had dinosaurs inside and one student set up a guessing game for his friends before we placed them in water.
We overheard the children have conversations about the pictures they found when researching in books and on the iPad. Lots of great conversations and interest in volcanoes!
My teaching partner bleached ribs and chicken bones which we hid in the sandbox for our students to experience what it is like to be a palaeontologist. We also left them out with clay for our students to create fossils.
We also set up this provocation, inviting our students to look closely at the many types of dinosaurs and draw one!
After reading different books about dinosaurs, and what may have caused them to become extinct, we left out a variety of objects for the students to create and tell their own dinosaur story.
Their play even extended into the small world play area and sand box!
As our inquiry grew, we co-created this documentation wall with our students.
We wanted to offer our students a chance to put together a dinosaur, just like a palaeontologist. Many thanks to Darla Myers for inspiring us to create a 3D dino using wrapping paper tubes!
Here is our finished documentation in the hallway outside of our classroom!