Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs A to Z
Learning Goal: Help students practice the letters of the alphabet while learning about diversity of dinosaurs that once lived on Earth.
Related Episode: 105 "One Smart Dinosaur" and others
Subjects: Science, Literacy, Phys. Ed.
Using a video and lyrics sheet, sing along with Dinosaur Train and practice the alphabet. Draw letters using 26 Dinosaur illustrations. You can also have your students play the "Dinosaurs A to Z" game.
- 26 Index cards (4x6 or 5x7)
- Thick marker
- Printable Pages: "Dinosaurs A to Z" Lyrics Sheet and Illustration of 26 dinosaurs featured in the song (2.7 MB PDF)
Related Video Clip
Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs A to Z (1 minute 36 seconds)
- Have the students brainstorm a list of all the kinds of dinosaurs they know. Make a list of all guesses (don’t worry about spelling!) Then ask: How many different kinds of dinosaurs were there millions of years ago? Reveal the answer: No one knows. No people were around back then to see the dinosaurs, take pictures of them, write books on them (or make TV shows about them). But scientists have found fossils and other clues to know about hundreds of different dinosaurs. And there are more dinosaur fossils discovered every year. There were probably many more. You might tell students that the word “species” means “kind of animal." To get practice with this word, you could have the students ask each other, “How many dinosaur species do you know?” and respond accordingly.
- Announce that they are going to play a game with a song about 26 kinds of dinosaurs. The song is called “Dinosaurs A to Z.” Have students watch the video clip above of the Conductor singing the song “Dinosaurs A to Z” [See PRINTABLE page of lyrics above] from the “One Smart Dinosaur” episode. Then show them the page of all 26 dinosaurs [See PRINTABLE page above].
- Write each letter of the alphabet on an index card. Use capital letters, and holding the cards horizontally, so they resemble the cars of a train. Say the name of each letter aloud as you write it. (Older students can help write these letter cards themselves.) If desired, students can decorate each of these cards, being careful not to obscure the letter. Put a tape loop on the back of each card, and then tape them in a long line on a blank wall. Point out that the letters are like the cars on a train.
- Play the “Dinosaur A to Z” game. The rules are simple. A student volunteer stands in front of the letter “A” and as the Conductor sings the song, the student needs to point to (touch) each letter as the Conductor says it. For older students, try the “Challenge Round” of this game. Switch around the order of the letters (slightly), and see if students can still follow along (point to the cards) as the conductor sings.
- Use the PRINTABLE Lyric Sheet above for “Dinosaurs A to Z” song to help students learn the words to this song. If you wish, you can have students perform this song for another class, or record their singing as a video.
- Have students draw each of the 26 dinosaurs from the “Dinosaurs A to Z” song on index cards, and then attach the cards horizontally with tape into a long train that can be pulled around the room. Help students differentiate the dinosaurs in their pictures by paying attention to obvious details such as body shape, length of tail, whether the dinosaurs has horns or not, whether it has a crest or not, and so on.
- To help students think about other animal species they know about, have them make their own Animal Alphabet book – putting a large letter on each page, and coloring a picture of an animal that is alive today. (Example: Ant, Baboon, Catfish) Students can use a video camera to make their own A to Z song and share it with others. Students could also create special animal books on a theme such as “Mammals A to Z” or “Birds A to Z.”