Learning With Dinosaurs
|“The questions about dinosaurs soon exceeded my meager knowledge of them and Trevor learned ways to find his own answers.”|
Trevor has also learned a lot about science, of course, through this dinosaur phase. He has learned what an omnivore, an herbivore, and a carnivore are and about predators, scavengers, and prey. These concepts led to discussions about food chains and life in the wild. We’ve also talked about the different theories of the dinosaurs’ extinction and the evidence which makes scientists support the different theories. We went to Fossil Park in Sylvania, Ohio and learned about fossils and then we read about the tar pits where dinosaurs would meet untimely deaths. This led to discussions about the geographical locations of various dinosaurs and we located them on a world map.
The questions about dinosaurs soon exceeded my meager knowledge of them and Trevor learned ways to find his own answers. I showed him how to search for information online, how to look up specific names in glossaries and indexes of books and how to check his own books out of the library. These skills will aid him in learning about any subject in which he will be interested in the future.
Just yesterday, he glanced up from one of his books and exclaimed, “Hey, Mom, this says that Dimetrodons were 29 feet long! How long is that?” We got out a 12-inch ruler and marked off 29 feet across the house. “Wow, that’s really long!” he said with his eyes wide. I think that was the first time he really realized how big some of those creatures were. He spent the rest of the afternoon mapping about the lengths of various other dinosaurs and then measuring the lengths of items around the house, like books, crayons, and his little sister’s ponytail.
Watching my son follow his interests and learning about his world in the process has been an enlightening experience for me. I have a new confidence in children’s curiosity and their drive to learn and explore. As I write, Trevor is developing a new interest in sharks and I can only anticipate what paths we will follow and what we will learn. Who knows where it will take us?
Amy Kagey is a life learning mom in Toledo, Ohio who enjoys experiencing life and learning alongside her kids.