We Write About Dinosaurs
After this lesson students will understand more about the way a book is written, illustrated, and published.
Prior to beginning this project, read several books about dinosaurs as a class. Look at the cover of each book, and use picture clues to help kids decide if the books are factual or make-believe.
- Tell the students they are going to help you write a make-believe book about a dinosaur using the poem This Little Piggy.
- Have students say This Litle Piggy with you.
- Explain that the class is going to write a poem about This Little Dinosaur and make it into a book.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling(5 minutes)
- Remind students that the book you're creating is a make-believe story, so their answers can be a little crazy.
- Give examples of alternate word endings. For instance, "this little piggy went to market." Challenge your class to fill in the blank for "this little dinosaur went to ___." See what words your students think of.
- Offer suggestions to help get the thoughts flowing. Great questions include: where do you think a dinosaur might go? What would he eat? What would he do all the way home? If it is a new concept for them, it will take a few tries to get them headed in the right direction.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling(10 minutes)
- Have the class decide on a new story ending for each line.
- Write the title on a piece of construction page to make a cover page.
- Make a page for each of the five little dinosaurs, and write the storyline on each page.
- Glue a different dinosaur (printed and cut out beforehand) on each page.
- Have students work in groups or individually, depending on your numbers, to illustrate the cover page and the five other pages.
- Staple the book together and let the children take turns “reading” the story.
Independent Working Time(10 minutes)
- Pass out the individual books and art supplies to students.
- Ask students to imagine what the dinosaur is doing on each page. Have them illustrate each dinosaur.
- If students get stuck, offer them suggestions, but strive to have the class work independently.
- Enrichment: Advanced students could each write and illustrate their own books.
- Support: Students who are not as advanced could color simple dinosaur coloring pages, or tear pictures from a magazine.
- Review vocabulary terms.
- Ask children to tell you how they know if a book is make-believe or real.
- Make sure they understand that book illustrations tell a picture story.
Review and Closing(5 minutes)
- Recap by reading the class story to your students.
- Pause and allow them to fill in the words they want to incorporate into the story.
- Let the students take turns "reading" the book to the class.
- Ask questions about dinosaurs, based on what you have taught your class.