On Tuesday, Nov. 24, with help from second graders, all of Fisher Elementary’s kindergarten classes went on a dinosaur hunt.
Each kindergarten classroom housed different activities. The junior paleontologists unearthed sand-covered fossils in a sandbox, dissected baking soda dinosaur eggs, examined real fossils, created dinosaurs from geometric shapes, made dinosaur paint and reveal silhouettes using chalk and watercolors, and whipped up tasty dinosaur dirt snacks.
The fun-filled day tied together everything they had learned over the previous three weeks about dinosaurs and paleontology.
Because both kindergarten and second grade were studying similar material, kindergarten teacher Gina Scaparo and second grade teacher Angela Rorick decided to try some joint lessons. Four times over the unit, their classes met together, sharing what they learned. Second graders worked with the younger students, serving as role models. The idea caught on and soon all the teachers in both grades organized joint lessons. It all culminated with Mrs. Scaparo’s, Molly Ciallelo’s, Martha Higgins’,
Terra McDermott’s, and Adrienne Watson’s kindergartners joining Mrs. Rorick’s, Laura Libritz’s, Maryjo Pedersen’s and Lauren Passiatore’s second graders for Tuesday’s “Big Dig.”
In the classrooms, students learned about paleontologists, what they do and the tools they use. They read If Dinosaurs were Alive Today and drew their own pictures of how that might look. They assembled 3-D puzzles and used their computer tablets to link from QR (Quick Response) codes to specific websites having more information about dinosaurs.
They also researched one of five dinosaurs (Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Velociraptor and Diplodocus), gathering information about their size, diet, habitat, and period in which the specific dinosaur lived.
Kindergartners used that information to fill in a graphic organizer on each. Second graders used their research to write an expository (definition: intended to explain or describe something) paragraph.
Wrapping up the unit, both grades took a field trip on Dec. 3 to the theater to watch the movie The Good Dinosaur. That trip was underwritten by the Fisher PTO.