Lesson plan

We Write About Dinosaurs

This little dinosaur … helped build vocabulary skills! Introduce your students to writing with this fun class project using a familiar childhood poem. Your class will write their own verses to create a class book.
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Students will be able to participate in shared writing projects. Students will be able to write a shared poem.

(5 minutes)

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.

  1. Tell the students they are going to help you write a make-believe book about a dinosaur using the poem This Little Piggy.
  2. Have students say This Little Piggy with you.
  3. Explain that the class is going to write a poem about This Little Dinosaur and make it into a book.
(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.
(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.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that now that they've practiced creating a classroom book, they will create their own This Little Dinosaur books.
  • Pass out the supplies students will need to create their own books including paper, dinosaur pictures that students can color in, and coloring materials.
  • Guide students to write the title This Little Dinosaur on the cover of their book and write their names underneath. Reiterate that they will be the authors and Illustrators of their dinosaur books. Elaborate that the author writes the words of a story or text and the illustrator draws the pictures.
  • Write the following sentence stem on the whiteboard:
    • This little dinosaur ____.
  • Ask students to imagine what the dinosaur is doing on each page. Record some of their ideas on the whiteboard to support other students in understanding.
  • Allow students sufficient time to create their dinosaur books.
  • 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.
(5 minutes)
  • 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.
(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.

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