Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


  • Students will be able to name at least five dinosaurs. 
  • Students will come to understand the size differences of dinosaurs using rulers and a ratio (scale) to measure the different proportions.
  • Students will learn three facts about what we know about dinosaurs.

Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! by Kathleen Kudlinski
Dino-Dinners by Mick Manning; Illus. Brita Granstrom
Dinosaur Encore by Patricia Mullins
Dinosaurs! by Gail Gibbons
Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Bryon Barton
Gigantic! How Big Were the Dinosaurs? by Patrick O’Brien 
Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Stickland
Triceratops by Don Lessem; Illus. by Hall Train
Tyrannosaurus Rex by Don Lessem; Illus. Hall Train
Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast by Jack Prelutsky; Illus. by Arnold Lobel 
We Love Dinosaurs by Lucy Volpin 

1 Inflatable Globe  
1 Foot Pump to Inflate/Deflate the Globe
1 Bag of 2 Dinosaur Puzzles
1  Bag of 19 Plastic Dinosaurs
1 Bag of 8 Soft Stuffed Finger Puppet Dinosaurs 
1  Bag of 18 Rulers
1  Bag of 2 Boxes of Markers and 2 Rolls of Register Tape
1  Bag of 18 Rubber Finger Puppet Dinosaur Heads
Consumables: (To be supplied by you)
Extra Markers 

From the American Museum of Natural History:



Students will be able to name at least five dinosaurs. 
Students will come to understand the size differences of dinosaurs using rulers and a ratio (scale) to measure the different proportions. 
Students will learn three facts about what we know about dinosaurs.


Can anyone name a dinosaur?  (Let children say the names of many different kinds of dinosaurs. 

How large were the dinosaurs?  What did they eat?  

Are there any dinosaurs left in the world?  (Actually birds are the closest relatives.) 


Pass out the 19 plastic dinosaurs and have each child say one thing about the dinosaur they have in their hand.  They can mention the spikes, horns, size, tails, faces, wings and even colors.  They do NOT have to try and name them.  As you read the different books, see if the child or someone else can see any dinosaur that looks like one in someone’s hand. 

Read: Dinosaurs! by Gail Gibbons.  This is rather technical.  When you get to the classification sections (7 classes of dinosaurs) ask the children if they think they have a “sauropod” or “stegosaur” etc. as you read about each group.  Let them take the time to look at the dinosaurs and listen to the descriptions. 

Read two poems from Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast by Jack Prelutsky.  Your choice! 

Read: Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! by Kathleen Kudlinski.  Let the children switch dinosaurs, if they want.  Encourage them to switch.  Do they think these plastic models are more like the real dinosaurs or just toys? What did makers of the dinosaurs get right?  What did they get wrong?  (Look at the legs!) 

Read two more poems from Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast by Jack Prelutsky. 

Read: Dino-Dinners by Mick Manning.  As you are reading this (and read the whole book – lots of great facts.  As you read about each one, start making a chart of the name of the dinosaur (you can have this done ahead of time) and then add the length of each dinosaur next to its name.  When you are done, get the children to look at the sizes.  Pull out the plastic globe and show some of the dinosaurs and where they lived.  Or ask the children to come up and choose a dinosaur to find out where it lived and the size.  Point out the continent. 

Read: Gigantic! How Big Were the Dinosaurs? by Patrick O’Brien.  It’s fast-paced as the last book of the program.  Make sure to point out the objects next to the dinosaurs as it makes it relatable to the children to understand the size.  


Read: Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton.  Finish with the two-page spreads in the front and the back of the book.  Pass around those named dinosaurs from the bag of small plastic dinosaurs.  As the kids pass them around ask them to look at the heads, horns, spikes, size, faces, beaks, tails, and share their observations.  Do they notice anything else?  Collect the plastic dinosaurs. 

Read: Dinosaur Encoreby Patricia Mullins.  Read it again and ask the children if they remember the names of the dinosaurs – say the sentence and wait for them to fill in the name, if they can.  Let them do it all together. 

Pass out the dinosaur heads and show everyone how to put their fingers in the heads.  Read: We Love Dinosaurs by Lucy Volpin.  For every action that the dinosaurs take, have the children do something that will imitate the action.  Pass back the puppet heads. 

Action Rhyme: “Dinosaurs Lived a Long Time Ago:” 
Some walked (STOMP) 
Some swam (swim motions) 
Some flew, you know! (flap wings) 
Some were big (hands above head) 
Some were small (squat down low)
Some were gigantic (arts out stretched) 
And some very, very tall. (stretch on tip toes) 

Read: choice of Triceratops or Tyrannosaurus Rex by Don Lessem.  (I prefer Triceratops.) 

Finish up with the stuffed finger puppets and two of the puppet heads to make 10 dinosaurs.  Read: Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Strickland.  You will need 10 volunteers to stand with a puppet and sit down as you read the book. 


Let younger children play with the dinosaurs if they want.

It would be nice to have parent/caregiver volunteers or teen volunteers to help with this portion of the program.  Give each child a ruler and explain that you are now going to compare the different dinosaurs in size.
The RATIO will be 1 inch to 1 foot. That means that the Velociraptor will be 6 inches on the scale and 6 feet in real life, while the Triceratops will be 30 inches on the scale and it will be 30 feet in real life.  This is the main point of this exercise!  You can work in groups of four or five children.  Using the cash register tape and markers, have kids mark the size of different dinosaurs in inches.  Write the name of the dinosaur on the end of each length you are doing.  Tape these to the floor (probably in a hallway, if necessary).  You can use four or five dinosaurs; you can do more than one dinosaur on a piece of the register tape using different colored markers.  You can also measure the children and mark off where they would fit in next to a dinosaur.  (Compsognathus was only two to four feet long from Gigantic! How Big Were the Dinosaurs?

Children can also learn the visual aspect of a bar graph by putting the lengths of register tape next to each other. 

If you wish to have an art area you can have children draw and make their own pictures of dinosaurs.  They can make them colorful, with feathers, etc.  Since there isn’t a lot known, there are no wrong ideas!  Have paper, crayons, and/or markers available. 

Set out puzzles for anyone that wants to solve them. 

Bookmarks : (In kit)
Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF copies are available here.

Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

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