Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Boy, Were We Wrong About the Dinosaurs!

Boy, Were We Wrong About the Dinosaurs! by Kathleen V. Kudlinski is a non-fiction book that explains how scientists have learned more and more about dinosaurs and other ancient creatures by finding new fossils. The story models the idea that science is an ongoing process with open-ended questions that are sometimes left unanswered. This text goes through recent discoveries about dinosaurs, versus previous thinking. It has wonderful illustrations that leave the children laughing and engaged.

In my third grade classroom, I used this book to explain the importance of fossils and using different types of fossils to learn about different parts of dinosaurs' lives. For example, we discussed how the outline of feathers on fossils showed how dinosaurs' bodies might have felt and looked, and how the size and shape of dinosaur leg bones suggest that they were fast and graceful much like deer today. It was neat to see the way students considered the thinking of the past, versus the thinking of today. I think it showed them how important inquiry can be, even for adults!

A great illustration showing the textures of the various dinosaurs

This book is great for read-alouds, due to its brilliant, vibrant illustrations. I would recommend breaking the reading up into two days, as it is a bit of a long book for students to sit through for its entirety. They are certainly interested in the information, but having the information stretch over two days could prove the most meaningful. I would also be cautionary of the fact that the text assumes that children already have some background on how dinosaur bones and fossils are found and handled. Providing a mini-lesson on this idea would be helpful prior to reading this text to a class. 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed that you were able to pull out some great science that can be learned from this book. I found your last paragraph, recommending this book be read aloud and why the most helpful. I agree that the illustrations are beautiful. I appreciate the idea of breaking reading the book up into two days so that it's easier for students to sit through. Perhaps adding a link to a resource would be a good idea. Maybe something that will help students dig further into learning about fossils. Overall this is great!