So, to kick off the dinosaur unit, I started off with fossils. I also had my first formal observation this year during one of these classes. (It went pretty well!) Anyways, we talked about why fossils are important (because they help us understand about dinosaurs and the earth's climate way back when...), how they were made, and what they were of. This is where I incorporated the clay....as seen on Pinterest!
Here's how the first day went:
1. Viewed the power point together about fossils and discussed.
2. Everyone sat in a circle on the floor while I demonstrated how to pass the clay from hand to hand to "wedge" it. (I had already pre-wedged the clay for them, but I wanted them to get a basic understanding of why we have to do it.)
3. I flattened the clay with my palm, and carefully pressed dinosaurs and seashells into the clay.
4. Everyone went back to their seats and got a piece of Manila paper to work on.
5. We reviewed the process, and then together we "wedged" and flattened our pieces.
6. I passed out trays with toy dinosaurs and seashells. While students pressed into their clay, I went around and carved their initials into the clay with a needle tool.
7. Students cleaned up, and then while we waited for everyone to dry their hands, I had them discuss in their groups at their tables a fact to share with the class about fossils. This was their ticket to line up.
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of them working...it was a tad bit hectic with their excitement. After they are fired, we will paint them with watered down black tempera, and then wipe the extra paint off to make them look weathered.