When I was a fifth grade teacher in Hell’s Kitchen, NY our favorite place to go on field trips was the American Museum of Natural History, in the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing where you'll find interesting facts and a bevy of dinosaur species fossils and bones. Their favorite permanent exhibits were, of course, the two dino halls devoted to these creatures.
On the day of our field trip, the kids would spend 10 minutes in our class library reviewing different dinosaur names. On our walks across town to get there, we’d play ‘20 Questions.’ The kids would ask questions to learn information to guess the species I was thinking about. Questions about the cretaceous periods, the mesozoic era, fossils, and what killed the dinosaurs became commonplace. What a great time.
Though kids’ enthusiasm for these extinct animals usually diminishes by grade 3, the reasons for learning to love them comes from the need for kids to learn about things in fun ways. Kelli Chen, a pediatric psychiatric occupational therapist at Johns Hopkins says that developing “intense interests” like learning about dinosaurs is “particularly beneficial for cognitive development.”
“A 2008 study (by Chen) found that sustained intense interests, particularly in a conceptual domain like dinosaurs, can help children develop increased knowledge and persistence, a better attention span, and deeper information-processing skills. In short, they make better learners and smarter kids. There are decades of research to back that up: Three separate studies have found that older children with intense interests tend to be of above-average intelligence.”
“A dino obsession, then, can be a kid’s way of taking in a new subject in a way that feels familiar to them: through the business of having fun. Asking questions, finding answers, and gaining expertise is the learning process in general,” Chen says. “Exploring a topic and mastering it is beneficial because that’s how we form careers as adults. A kid’s primary occupation is play, so they’re going about their job of playing through the lens of this thing they’re interested in learning about.”
Any Dino devotee would have to agree!
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For teachers and parents, there’s a plethora of science-based topics related to dinosaurs that are fun to explore, including just a few:
This DYNA-mic topic is also a great way to start kids on a path of liking science-based curriculum, enjoying discovery, the scientific method, and learning to discuss limited resources and man’s effect on the environment.
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Since “cantankerous” palaeontologist Richard Owen invented the term ‘dinosaur’ (which actually means ‘terrible lizards’) in 1842, kids have loved to read, write, and sing about, and draw these amazing creatures. At Speech Blubs we do, too! In fact, we devote an entire activity area to the subject called ‘DinoRawrs”! Kids have the opportunity to see fun videos with dinosaurs on their own device! COOL-o-SAURUS!
Look at just some of the videos used in our app that include dinosaurs’ names and pictures!
Meet our DINOS! But first, let’s get in the mood. Here’s one of our child “experts” imitating a dinosaur:
Now you TRY!!!
The first is the Apatosaurus. Here are some interesting facts about this dinosaur, otherwise known as ‘Brontosaurus’:
Here is an exercise from Speech Blubs app to practice the Apatosaurus word:
DINO #2 is the Diplodocus. Here are some interesting facts about them:
Look how big they grew!
Even kids in Speech Blubs app love Diplodocus. Watch them practice the word:
DINO #3 is the Pterodactyl. Here are some interesting facts about Big Terry:
It’s not that hard of a word. C’mon, practice it with us:
DINO #4 is the Quetzalcoatlus. Here are some interesting facts about QUETZIE:
Quetzalcoatlus can be a big challenge to pronounce. But you can do it with the help of our video:
DINO #5 is the T-rex. Here are some interesting facts about BIG T:
Even though T-rex was one of the fiercest dinosaurs, his name is not that hard to pronounce. Give it a try:
Let your child channel their inner “dinorawr” by practicing their speech with Speech Blubs!
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