Montessori-inspired Children's Books About Sharks

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Shark! Is there another word that can elicit as much terror, panic, awe, and wonder all at the same time? A fish that has been around for 400 million years, sharks have developed into the sleek, efficient alpha predators of the deep that we see today. Yet, much of what we know about sharks has been discovered only in the past 40 years, with new discoveries occurring seemingly every year. For the past three years, our two oldest kiddos, Dinomite and Bulldozer, have been enthusiastic viewers of Discovery Channel's Shark Week programming.  The kiddos love it and they look forward to it every year. The two younger kids are set to join us this year. We have collected several books about sharks and other sea creatures, to celebrate Shark Week and to accompany our new Montessori inspired shark activities.  Here are our 10 favorites.


Super Shark Encyclopedia is by far the kids' favorite book on the shelf this week. DK publishing has a well-deserved reputation for producing high quality children's books about nature and science in general. This book, published just last year, might be DK's best one yet.  The page layouts are dynamic, even explosive.  The photos and illustrations are sharp and expertly crafted, married with exciting text and data that gets the kids' attention. The use of digital images to illustrate the creatures inside and out is innovative and contributes greatly to the overall presentation. While the focus is not exclusively on sharks, the other sea creatures featured here are just as cool and earn their place along with the sharks. Shark research has expanded dramatically in recent years, so major shark fans like ours, want to be as up-to-date as possible with their reference materials.  Dinomite, our 9-year old wildlife fan, carried this book with him and read it everywhere he went for three days straight, which is high praise as far as we are concerned. Any shark fan will love this book.


National Geographic Kids Everything Sharks is the book that earned top rank among our kids, until the DK Super Shark book came out, that is. However, this title is still as colorful and informative as any other kids' book about sharks out there. Plus, author Ruth Musgrave displays a playfulness in her writing, a refreshing change of pace on a subject that can be somewhat grim and serious in the hands of lesser writers. Usually, when it comes to National Geographic Books, the highlight is the photography, and this book lives up to that high standard. There is something about that streamlined and powerful silhouette and underwater setting that gives great photos of sharks a breathtaking quality. Be aware that this might be a reason to avoid this volume for especially young or sensitive readers. Other than that, this book comes highly recommended, and will enhance your shark-themed learning activities or unit study very well.


National Geographic Kids Sharks! is proof that the folks at National Geographic are big shark fans, offering not one but two, excellent selections for young readers. Unlike the previous title we reviewed above, this is an "Easy Reader" book, meaning the text is simpler and the word count is lower. Author Anne Schreiber has written several titles in the easy reader style for National Geographic, and she seems to have a gift for word choice and phonics awareness, while making the text engaging for the reader. Another advantage of this book is the photographs are less intense than those found in the larger shark book we reviewed above. Emerging readers can therefore enjoy the challenge of trying out some new vocabulary without being frightened by the pictures accompanying the text. A major bonus for some kiddos, to be sure. You can't go wrong with National Geographic.


Hungry, Hungry Sharks is another option if you are looking for a quality nonfiction book for children to read aloud.  This one has been around since the mid-80s but is still going strong today. The reason? Author Joanna Cole's narrative style. While still based in facts, Cole tells little stories within the overall presentation of what sharks do, what they eat, etc. which gives the sharks and their ocean dwelling companions a little more personality and character. Please note that the cover of the book we had available was illustrated, while the revised edition shown above features a photograph on the cover. This is an interesting choice, since the rest of the book consists of the original illustrations by Patricia Wynne. So, again, if the kids are scared of sharks, they can rest assured that the rest of the book is just illustrations rather than photos. This is a Step into Reading level 3 book.


The Best Book of Sharks by Claire Llewellyn is a nice choice if you are looking for a general overview of sharks that is brief and clearly written. It lends itself nicely to the advanced Montessori student doing research or finding a topic for a term paper. The artwork is another highlight, also by Llewellyn, who uses simple, clean figures and layouts with all the right details highlighted, to create a realistic, yet not "too realistic" look to the sharks. Also, the pages about shark science research and equipment are some of the best I've seen in a children's book, very detailed and clearly illustrated. Overall, this is a high quality little book to supplement the collection on our bookshelf for a shark-themed unit study.


How to Spy on a Shark is another book for younger children that emphasizes shark scientists and their vital work. Unlike paleontologists, shark scientists are mostly anonymous; their discoveries and daring exploits rarely make the news (well, except during Shark Week, of course.) Author Lori Haskins Houran has chosen to honor these brave researchers with simple, rhyming text that present their work as exciting and innovative, and not entirely dangerous.  Illustrator Francisca Marquez uses soft, bright colors to paint the underwater scenes and clean lines to emphasize details of the scientific equipment and boats. And her sharks are almost...cute.  Easy to read and understand, this is another good choice for a "read-aloud" book for the beginning reader.


Surprising Sharks: Read and Wonder  tells the story of sharks without sparing the grim, sometimes gory details, while maintaining a bright, cartoonish presentation that doesn't turn off highly sensitive potential readers. (It would appear that there are children out there who find sharks frightening and unattractive, unworthy of further investigation. Who knew? LOL.) This format seems to be a specialty of author Nicola Davies, who has written a number of children's books about animals with a similar style. She has a talent for pairing James Croft's adorable pastel paintings of baby sharks, for example, with text that gently informs the reader that most of these little cuties are likely to eat each other before they are born. Plus, it's genuinely funny and lighthearted at times, while offering reminders of the untold damage that human activities have done to sharks over the years.  Montessori students can benefit from a book like this, despite the cartoonish art, because the writing is fact-based and emphasizes the responsibility we have as citizens of the earth to respect and care for it's creatures. Even (especially?) sharks.


Life-Size Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures  is a book that is designed for kids on the opposite side of the "sharks are scary" spectrum.  The Life-Size nature books are true to their word, even though sometimes the creatures are so big, they have to use a human scuba diver to show the perspective. Otherwise, what you get here is pages that unfold to reveal nothing but a great white's jaws or a hammerhead's head. The paintings by Martin Knowelden are exquisitely detailed and the color palette reflects the sharks' underwater environment perfectly. I'll admit, prying open those gate-folded pages and gazing upon the massive jaws of Megalodon or Giant Hammerhead definitely got my attention. It's such a visceral, awe-inspiring sight. This is a great selection for sitting side by side with a youngster to experience together with mom or dad.


Giant Shark: Megalodon, Prehistoric Super Predator seems to answer the question. "what could be better than a book about giant eating machines with enormous jaws and razor-sharp teeth?" The answer of course is a book about even bigger sharks.  Megalodon is extinct, but the fossils it left behind, combined with the incredible images of today's sharks that we are all familiar with now, have captured the imagination of shark fans all over the world. Caroline Arnold and Laurie Caple seem to really enjoy their work as they bring this all-time super predator back to life, with powerful, dynamic illustrations and tell the story of sharks past, present and future. For a lot of kids, sharks are really cool and they love to learn as much as they can about them. When it comes to sharks, bigger is always better, and none were bigger than Megalodon.


I Am a Shark: The Life of a Hammerhead Shark is a unique book on our shelf this week, because it focuses on one species.  Hammerhead sharks seem to hold a special place of fascination for some kiddos. Our daughter Princess is the hammerhead fan here and she enjoyed this book more than the others. This unique and amazing shark relates the facts of it's life in first-person voice, making it more relatable to young children. The illustrations strike the perfect balance between life-like and whimsical, and lends to the hammerhead's charm in the story. Overall, this is a rewarding look at a specific species that deserves close attention.


For those who are looking for more shark activities, printables and resources, be sure to check out the posts below.
Shark Gifts and Resources for Kids Shark Unit 2 with Free Printables Shark Activities for Tots and Preschoolers Montessori-inspired Shark Themed Practical Life Activities Shark Unit 1 Shark Activities for Tots Montessori-inspired Shark Unit Syllabus
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Non Toy Gift Ideas for 8 Year Old Girls

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Princess' birthday is coming soon and she's super excited about it, counting down the days literally.  Over the past six months our family has made an amazing transformation to owning less and wanting less.  I attribute part of this to the experiences we've had as a family traveling over the past year.  The kiddos thoroughly enjoyed it, even more than getting more "stuff."  It has really been a light bulb moment for them.  They've also realized how easy it is to keep their rooms clean with less toys to put away.  Other aspects of Princess' journey in particular include recommendations made by her therapists as a result of behaviors and issues she's struggling with.  She is learning so much about how to help her body and mind heal, and enjoying the process.  So, I present to you Princess' wish list for the year 2016.  This will be her wish list for her birthday and also for Christmas.
Princess has recently developed a passion for baking and cooking.  If only you could see her watching Chopped Junior on the Food Network when she gets the chance.  She's dying to get her hands dirty with new recipes and materials that are appropriate for her age.  You'll also notice a trend of American Girl products here, as Princess is very much into the all things American Girl.







Princess LOVES flamingos.  They are one of her favorite animals.  Her bedroom is in the process of receiving a makeover with pink flamingos as the theme.  She would be delighted to receive any of the items below for her room and when on the go.







Princess has taken up an interest in fitness and exercise as she's learned that it helps her cope with her anxieties.  She reminds me of myself as she is sure to get in her sit ups, push ups, and jumping jacks in before the end of the day..







Another one of Princess' favorite animals is the dolphin.  For this reason we included multiple dolphin themed non toy gift ideas.





DVD: Dolphin Tale (Purchased)


As our family has watched the news together over the last year, Princess has shown an intense interest in the elections of our country.  Her dedication to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is firm, even when others in the family have cheered for other candidates in the primary elections.  Hillary Clinton appears to be her very first hero-like figure.  Princess really does like everything about her, from the way she dresses, to the way she gives speeches against Donald Trump.  And most importantly she loves that she is a woman.  She has expressed interest in showing support for her candidate, learning more about Hillary, learning about other amazing women in our nation's history, and learning about our country in general.







When you ask Princess where she wants to go next on vacation, her first answer, without hesitation is Paris, France.  Traveling to Europe is definitely not an option right now, but I know that making that trip myself before my senior year of high school was a life altering experience. I would love to give that to Princess as well.  So why not start preparing now in ways that are appropriate for her age?

Book:  Kids Cook French

CD: French Playground

Book: French-English Picture Dictionary

Book Set:  American Girl Grace

Puzzle:  I'm Going Places

DVD:  Grace Stirs Up Success

Princess loves to learn, especially when she gets to use Montessori materials.  When completing bigger math problems this year, we noticed we have a shortage of wooden thousand cubes and hundred squares when completing larger problems.  This bothered Princess to no end, as one of her favorite games of all time includes the use of these wooden materials.  She couldn't resist putting them on her wish list.  When it comes to language studies, Princess' favorite works include sentence analysis.  She has mastered the material we have on hand and is ready for the material shown here.  Lastly, Princess is very intrigued with the binomial and trinomial cubes, as we do not own them yet, but she has seen them.








Gift Cards
Princess is just beginning to understand the concept of money and gift cards, however this girl LOVES to go out to eat and watch movies at home.  The restaurants below are specific places she enjoys in town, however I know she would enjoy a gift card to any restaurant you could think of.  She loves foods of all kinds, including Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and more.  Lately she's been asking to go try seafood.




Experiences
Unless it's a pre-planned trip, prepared for well in advance, either for the day or for a few weeks, Princess is very much a home body.  She likes to spend her time doing things she's familiar with close to home.  So with regard to experiences, Princess has only asked for a trip to the movies and the bowling alley, two places she's gone before and knows she enjoys.



Clothes
Princess LOVES clothes, as long as they're soft, modest, and comfortable.  The only issue we run into is that she's so dang tiny.  Unless you can find size slim, leggings and dresses are the way to go for bottoms.  She usually only fits into slimmer fitting shirts as well, and forget about those with wide or scooped necklines.  When it comes to accessories, Princess loves socks, hats and matching hair accessories.  She wears a size 8 in both tops and bottoms.

Note:  Grandparents and extended family members use this list for birthdays and Christmas.  Items marked purchased are for grandparents and extended family members so no two people purchase the same gifts.  We've find this to be a great way to communicate.  
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How to Recognize Signs of a Mood Disorder in Young Children

If you were to tell me, even two years ago that it was remotely possible or legitimately realistic to consider the diagnosis of a mood disorder for a toddler or preschooler, I would have thought you were out of your mind.  And that would have been the end of the conversation.

If you were a doctor and tried to tell me this, the chances of me bringing my child to you again would be slim to none. Most people with bipolar disorder may display some characteristics as children, but don't experience the full array of symptoms until adolescence or early adulthood.  So, to have a toddler with bi-polar disorder...  NO!!!

But that was two years ago.

Today, I know it's all VERY real, because I am a mother of a young child with a mood disorder.  For this reason, I want to share with you how to recognize signs of a mood disorder in young children.  The sooner you can receive help, the better.
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It took about 18 months to two years to diagnose when all was said and done.  We met with the developmental pediatrician every six weeks.   First the Reactive Attachment Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder were caught, but then there was more... So much more.

My husband and I already had two children with autism.  We knew what that looked like and we knew what to do about it.  Our first adopted daughter has Reactive Attachment Disorder.  By the time our youngest came along, we knew what that looked like and were learning what to do about it.

Our two boys have ADHD so we even knew what that looked like and how to help.  But this mood disorder, especially when combined with autism and Reactive Attachment Disorder is the HARDEST thing I have ever had to deal with as a parent.

So how is it possible?


How do you recognize the signs of a mood disorder in young children?  


Let me share our experience.  Please note that a mood disorder does not always present the same way in young children.  However, the information shared here includes general guidelines and red flags mentioned specifically by our developmental pediatrician.

Genetics

We adopted Sunshine through the foster care system.  She came to us at about 6 months old.  Her birth parents carried a long list of diagnoses with them.  Bi-Polar Disorder was on each list.  Both birth parents were also adopted through the foster care system because their parents were unfit to care for them.

Our developmental pediatrician explained to us that the chance of a child inheriting a mood disorder is 25-30% if only one parent has it.  If both parents have mood disorders, the chances of their children having it rises to 75%.

Chances are even higher if mood disorders have occurred in more than one generation.  We always held out hope that the diagnoses Sunshine's birth parents received were wrong, or that she'd be lucky enough not to inherit that challenge.  Unfortunately genetics were not on her side.

Sleep Issues

From the day Sunshine arrived, she did not sleep.  I can't recall a single night when she slept more than 2-4 hours in a 24 hour period, until she was almost three years old.  She definitely brought new meaning to the words "sleep deprived."

At first the developmental pediatrician diagnosed her with a sleep disorder.  We tried multiple sleep medications with no success.  Then we tried a few other medications before we were able to find something to help her sleep for 8 hours total, in a 24 hour period, at the age of 3 years and 2 months old.

That first night of sleep will forever be etched in my mind.  To this day it is very rare that she ever sleeps more than this, even with 2 hours of rigorous play and exercise during the day, unless she is coming down off of a manic episode.  The 8 hours of sleep doesn't always come at once.

Hyperactivity

My husband and I are not strangers to what hyperactivity looks like.  Both Bulldozer and Dinomite have ADHD and autism.  When we saw similar traits in Sunshine, we discussed them with our developmental pediatrician and assumed that the same approaches that had worked for our boys, would work for her.  However, we exhausted all options very quickly.

None of the techniques and typical medications worked to calm her or help with behaviors.  It was about half way through our 18 month adventure to diagnosis that the developmental pediatrician first mentioned that untreated mood disorders in young children usually present with constant hyperactivity.  They're manic all the time, not experiencing the lows.

It differs from ADHD hyperactivity because it is unresponsive to the medications that usually work, but also because it is always on.  Even ADHD kids will calm down long enough and focus if sufficiently stimulated and motivated by the task, and if it's not too hard.  The hyperactivity that comes with a mood disorder is not subject to motivation or external incentives.

Mood disorder hyperactivity does not only manifest itself with movement, but in speech as well.  When Sunshine is manic she talks incessantly, barely finishing a thought before moving on to the next.  She can't stop herself from speed talking, and the volume of her speaking voice is beyond loud.  Everyone in the house has sound blocking headphones for when we need them.

Sunshine's hyperactivity continues no matter how exhausted she may be.  She can't turn it off until the manic episode is over.

Inconsistent Behaviors and Abilities

Sunshine presents MUCH younger than she is when she is manic.  With her autism diagnosis and developmental delays this could be expected, but even when all environmental factors and routines are to her liking, there is a lack of consistency in her abilities that can only be explained by the mood disorder.

A child with a mood disorder will perform just as poorly no matter what you do to accommodate her when she's manic.  She's reacting to her own thoughts and feelings regardless of the situation.  The driving factors that change are internal, whereas with autism they are external.

A recent study found that bipolar patients who are in a manic state score 20 points lower on an IQ test than when they are not manic.  Such has been the case with Sunshine.  It came as a shock to everyone that her IQ was evaluated in the low 90s both times she was tested.  Anyone attempting to carry on a conversation with her when she is manic would think her IQ was in the low 70s.

Even when taking into account her Reactive Attachment Disorder and defiance, the variance in her behaviors and abilities just didn't make sense.  With the inconsistent cognitive and emotional regulation issues comes variability in behavior.  The way we could tell that Sunshine had more going on than RAD and autism was her unpredictable responses to things that normally "work" when she was acting out or misbehaving.

A RAD child, by definition, is constantly attuned to the people around her, and responds to whatever is going on with words and actions designed to control or manipulate them.  The mood disordered child is neither attuned to the people around her nor to the environmental conditions in her living space.

Rather, she is only responding to the endless rush of thoughts and impulses that are racing through her mind, and any attempt to derail that train or impede her progress is met with irritability, anger or worse.

Inconsistent Response to Sensory Input

A child with autism misbehaves or acts out (usually) in an attempt to have a need met, in response to some sensory input or lack of sensory stimulation.  These behaviors stop as soon as the need is met, or the sensory stimulus is received or removed.

A child with Reactive Attachment Disorder may have sensory triggers, but they remain the same and are constant unless the varied response is purposeful to provoke.  Such is not the case with a young child who has a mood disorder.  Responses to sensory input are erratic.

The best way I can describe Sunshine's response to sensory stimuli when she is manic is to say she acts like she's on fire.  Every sensory sensitivity or craving she has is magnified by 500%.  There is absolutely nothing you can do to calm her.  What worked yesterday sends her into a rage now, but 15 minutes later, she may be attacking you, craving the very input you just tried to give her.

Sunshine worked with an occupational therapist for 6 months, at which point it was determined that occupational therapy was ineffective, because there was no way to keep her regulated. What worked one day, would do the opposite the next.

Rage

As one tries to help a young child in the middle of a manic episode, due to behaviors, sensory issues, or lack of safety issues, it's pretty much guaranteed that you will be met with rage.  A raging toddler or preschooler is not having a tantrum.  They're not having a meltdown.  These are minor compared to the behaviors that one will see in a rage.

In Sunshine's case she attacks.  It doesn't matter who it is or if they've even said a word.  She will attempt to hurt someone.  If there is anything within her reach and she can pick it up, it will be thrown.  If she can't pick it up, she'll knock it down or shove it into something or someone.

When we're able to get her to her room and hold the door shut, to protect her and everyone else, she punches, kicks and throws herself at the walls and door.  The whole reason my husband and I are both at home is to keep everyone safe when Sunshine is like this.  And I can tell you from personal experience it is agony and absolutely exhausting in every way.

Besides the physical aggression, Sunshine's rages come with a violent scream and it can go on for hours.  The longest screaming rage we've dealt with so far has been 8 hours long. Even now, with proper medication and a safety plan in place, the rages still last 30 minutes and they happen several times per day.

Our developmental pediatrician has witnessed small rages first hand.  Safety plans and supports are in place.  I don't know what I'd do without our team of specialists.

Other times when Sunshine rages, it's as if she's empty.  There's nothing there.  She has this blank stare and this incredibly odd smile.  And when she attacks with this expression, it's as if she's in a completely different world.


Lack of Safety


People in a manic episode have a total disregard for their safety, and the safety of those around them.  This is why adults who are having a manic episode so often end up in emergency rooms or jail cells.  The internal drive to GO is all that matters.  Get in the way and get hurt.

When Sunshine is manic, she can't even sit in a chair safely.  She literally bounces off walls, furniture, and anything else that's in her path, constantly injuring herself.

Medication

It wasn't until after all of the previous symptoms were present and observed multiple times, that we attempted medications used for those who have mood disorders.  We didn't know if they would work or not, but if they did, we knew that the diagnosis of mood disorder was inevitable.  Sure enough, they worked.

Treating a mood disorder with medication is 100% necessary in most cases, however finding the right combination and dosage of medications can be an agonizing and lengthy process, especially in young children under five, due to safety concerns and side effects.

Before medication, Sunshine was manic pretty much all the time.  We are now at point where she functions as well as she is able to for a child with autism and Reactive Attachment Disorder, with the exception of 3-5 days a month, when she's extremely manic.  Those monthly episodes are always a reminder that the mood disorder is real and still there.

The hardest part about being a parent of a young child with a mood disorder is the helplessness you feel when your child is manic.  Because you know what she's like when she's not manic.  It pains you to no end that you can't make it go away.  Instead you have to take on the new role of defense against the disordered child.  No parent ever wants to do this.

The good new is, and the reason I've shared so much in this post, is that mood disorders can be treated.  I can't take away Sunshine's trial, but I can fight for her, so that she can receive the help that she needs, and in all areas where the mood disorder hinders her progress, we can fight and win.

When she is not manic, Sunshine is one of the most loving and affectionate little girls I have ever met. She is funny, and can always make me laugh when I need it most.  Her enthusiasm and excitement for life are so contagious.  One can not avoid smiling while in her presence.  These qualities keep me going, and keep me fighting, in the hope that someday she can be this way all the time.  Because, after all, she is my little Sunshine.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:


For more information about seeking help for your child, please read the following posts:


This post is the first of many in the series:  Parenting Children with Special Needs.  To read more posts from this month's theme, "Recognizing Signs" please visit the links below!
Sensory Processing Red Flags  | Lemon Lime Adventures
Seeing the Signs of Childhood Trauma  | STEAM Powered Family
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Dinosaur Unit 2 with FREE Printables

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The older three kiddos are so excited to dive into a dinosaur study again.  I love that as they get older they're able to understand so much more.  It gives us a chance to dig deeper into subject content.  Here's what we're up to right now.

Language:
Dinosaur Spelling with Moveable Alphabet
The kiddos have been practicing their spelling skills using the Montessori Cursive Moveable Alphabet and figures from our various dinosaur themed Safari Ltd. Toobs including the Safari Ltd Dinosaur Skulls TOOBSafari LTD Dinos Toob, and Safari Ltd Ancient Fossils TOOB.

Math:
Addition with Dinosaur Bones
This year the kiddos have memorized all of their math facts, but it's always nice to review.  Each card has an addition problem on it. The kiddos will use Pebbles to mark their answer. on each card.  If they need counters, Bones are provided.  One could use the Safari Ltd Dinosaur Skulls TOOB skulls as counters in this activity as well.

Source: I created the printable for this activity as part of my Dinosaur Math Printable Pack 2. For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Dinosaur Multiplication
All of the kiddos are LOVING multiplication right now. It only made sense to include a dinosaur themed multiplication activity.  Once again pebbles are used as markers.  The dinosaur counters for this activity were found at our local dollar store.

Source: I created the printable for this activity as part of my Dinosaur Unit Math Printable Pack 2. For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Division of Dinosaur Eggs
I had the fabulous idea of dividing dinosaur eggs among nests for our unit. However, I quickly discovered that this is not the time of year to find eggs of any sort.  Thankfully our local dollar store did have some jelly bean eggs, however, they're a bit brighter than I anticipate dinosaur eggs were.  Still, for the purpose of the activity, they work.  The kiddos are doing great with division.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Dinosaur Unit Math Printable Pack 2. For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Culture/Geography:
Dinosaur Continent Sort
I must admit I'm super excited about sharing this activity.  The kiddos will sort dinosaurs by continent, based on where their bones have been found.  In this activity we use continent puzzle pieces from our Montessori Puzzle Map for sorting.

Source: Jason and I created the printable for this activity as part of our Dinosaur Unit Science & Culture Printable Pack 2.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

World Famous Paleontologists
Ever since I can remember, Dinomite has always wanted to be a "dinosaur expert."  When he developed the vocabulary, he eventually used the word paleontologist and then began to research the world's greatest ones. They quickly became his heroes.  This activity was designed with him in mind.  After all, if you're going to study dinosaurs, you need to know your paleontologists!

Source:  Jason and I created the printable for this activity as part of our Dinosaur Unit Science & Culture Printable Pack 2. For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of the post.

Science:
Predator & Prey Match Up
Both Dinomite and Bulldozer requested predator and prey cards for our unit, as they've loved them in other animal units we've done this year.  Thankfully Jason was willing to put the work into them and researched different dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, learning what they may have eaten based on time period and location.  

Source:  Jason and I created the printable for this activity as part of our Dinosaur Unit Science & Culture Printable Pack 2. For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Art:
Making Dinosaur Fossils
Dinomite was overjoyed when I asked him to help me make some dinosaur fossils for some of Sunshine's dinosaur activities.  Here you can see he enjoyed making bones, teeth, and more!

Source:  The salt dough recipe and directions for baking can be found at The Imagination Tree.

Dinosaur Silhouettes
The kiddos have become interested in painting lately, especially with water colors, so I thought I'd provide a dinosaur themed art activity on our shelves this week.

Source:  The idea for this activity, and image used as a control in this photo above can be found at Krokotak.

Music:
This year we've thoroughly enjoyed singing songs together during learning time as we gather together.  I would regret not sharing one of our favorites with you.  This song and video can also be found on the cd:  Here Comes Science from They Might Be Giants.


For those interested in the free printables, click on the links below!



For those interested in more Montessori-inspired dinosaur activities and free printables, be sure to check out the unit studies below.
Dinosaur Unit with FREE Printables

Dinosaur Unit 3 with FREE Printables






Montessori-inspired Children's Books About Dinosaurs

If you're interested in purchasing our Dinosaur Unit Syllabus, click below for details!
Montessori-inspired Dinosaur Unit Syllabus
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