Teaching critical thinking strategies in the classroom through aesthetic experiences
Teaching Critical Thinking Strategies in the Classroom through Aesthetic Experiences: Dinosaurs<br />By Cassie Larson<br />
Objectives:<br />The students will identify and describe dinosaurs found in the prehistoric era.<br />The students will use vocabulary such as fossil and extinct when describing dinosaurs<br />The students will create their own dinosaurs and write a description of it.<br />The students will sing songs and read books about dinosaurs to compare and contrast.<br />The students will alphabetize names of dinosaurs.<br />The students will create their own dinosaur fossil.<br />The students will graph and pattern with dinosaurs.<br />The students will write in a dinosaur journal questions they still have about dinosaurs.<br />
Day 1<br />The students discussed what they already knew already knew about dinosaurs. Then they brainstormed what they wanted to find out more on an easel. We used www.fieldmuseum.org/sue/sue/su and www.paleobiology.si.edu/sinosaurs/ to discuss vocabulary and pictures.<br />
Day 2<br /> The students were each given a “dinosaur journal” to use for the remainder of the unit. In it, they recorded any questions they still had about dinosaurs. They also used it to draw pictures and write names of dinosaurs that they remembered from the previous day’s lesson.<br />
Day 3<br />The children listened to songs such as “Dinosaur Boogie” by Dr. Jean. They took turns acting out their favorite kind of dinosaur to the music. I also used www.artsconnected.org/resource/116392/dinosaurs-by-cassie-larson to show the children different kinds of dinosaurs in art. They discussed the questions on each art slide.<br />
Day 4<br /> The students were asked to create their own make believe dinosaur drawings. They then wrote about their dinosaurs including its name, where it lived, what it ate and what it looked like. The students shared their stories when they were done.<br />
Day 5<br /> I used the website www.tumblebooks.com to play narrated fictional dinosaur stories. I also read several other fiction and non-fiction books about dinosaurs. The students discussed how they were the same or different. They also partner shared their favorite story and why.<br />
Day 6<br /> I wrote several dinosaur names on the easel for the children to read. They discussed what they remembered about each kind of dinosaur. Then they alphabetized them by putting a number before each name to indicate its order. The children also used the clip art to make dinosaur patterns. When finished, they worked on additional dinosaur patterns independently.<br />
Day 7<br /> I used the website www.paleobiology.si.ed/dinosaurs/ on the smartboard to take a virutal field trip to see dinosaur artifacts. They went on the “virtual fossil dig” and took turns uncovering the fossil and then putting it back together. Next, the students were given play dough to create their own fossil. When completed, they shared them and compared their own with the others.<br />
Day 8<br /> I used dinosaur clip art from the website www.classroomclipart.com to display several kinds of dinosaurs on the easel. The children were asked to describe each kind and sort them. Next, they graphed them and were asked questions such as, “Which kind of dinosaur had the fewest?” “Which kind of dinosaur had the most?” “Which kinds of dinosaurs had equal numbers?” I also asked the children to explain their thinking with questions such as, “Why?” and “How did you know that?” In addition, I printed off two sets of clip art pictures and the children played matching games in partners.<br />
Personal Reflections<br /> My unit on dinosaurs using music and visual arts through aesthetic experiences went very well! The children were engaged and excited to be learning about dinosaurs in a new way. The activities were planned to be sequential and built on the previous day’s lessons. This allowed the children to reflect on their learning and brainstorm questions and ideas that they had for the next day. <br />I believe that this unit incorporated many curriculum areas such as reading, writing, art, science and math. In doing this, many standards were met and the children’s learning time was used efficiently. This unit also gave the children several opportunities to use higher level thinking strategies and critical thinking skills that are crucial for their growth. I hope that anyone who reviews this slideshow enjoys it and perhaps uses some of the activities in their own classroom!<br />
Resources<br />Aliki. (1988). Digging up dinosaurs. New York, NY: Harper Collins.<br />Arts Connected Slideshow: Dinosaurs by Cassie Larson (2010). Retrieved April <br /> 23, 2010 from http://www.artsconnected.org/resource/116392/dinosaurs-by-cassie-larson<br /> Broach, E. & Small, D. (2007). When dinosaurs came with everything. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.<br />Classroom Clipart. (2005). Dinosaurs. [Image]. Available from http://classroomclipart.com/cgi-bin/kids/imageFolio.cgi?direct=Dinosaurs<br /> <br />Feldman, J. (2007). Dinosaur boogie. Huntington Beach, CA: Creative Teaching Press.<br /> <br />Gibbons, G. (2009). Dinosaurs. New York, NY: Holiday House.<br /> <br />Kallen, S. (1996). If the dinosaurs could talk: brontosaurus. Edina, MN: AbdoPublishing Company.<br /> <br />Maccarone, G. & Courtney, R. (2001). Dinosaurs. New York, NY: Scholastic.<br /> <br />Pallotta, J. (1990). The dinosaur alphabet book. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing.<br />Shlain, M. Let’s go dinosaur tracking! (1991). New York, NY: Harper Collins.<br /> <br />Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Dinosaurs. (2010). Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://paleobiology.si.ed/dinosaurs/<br /> <br />
Resources<br /> Sue at the Field Museum. (2010). Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://www.fieldmuseum.org/sue/su<br /> <br />Walker, S. (2006). Fossils. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications.<br /> <br /> Yolen, J. & Teague, M. (2000). How do dinosaurs say goodnight? New York, NY: Scholastic.<br />
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