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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dino Tracks

Dino Tracks by Rhonda Lucas Donald and Cathy Morrison is a fun title from Arbordale Publishing (formerly Sylvan Dell).

Kids learn about dinosaur habitats and behavior through sing-song style text and colorful illustrations in this book, which includes fun learning activities. The rhyming words are meant to be sung to the tune of "Over the River and Through the Woods."

Dino Tracks takes the premise of finding dinosaur footprints and imagining what type of dinosaur left them and what they were doing at the time. Examining details such as the spacing of the creatures' feet and their shape provide clues as to the habits of the dinosaurs. Also, the location of the tracks, in water, in arid or freezing climates, provide details about the lives of these huge ancient animals.

There are four pages of activities inside the book, as well as additional teacher resources on the Arbordale website, including even more activities to help turn Dino Tracks into a dinosaur unit study. I especially like "Dinosaur Puzzles and Scientists" in the "For Creative Minds" activities sections of the book, which explains the different types of scientific specialties, such as paleontologists, ichnologists, paleoichnologists, etc. Respect is given to differing views in the field of science and history, so this is a good preface to the activity pages. (Note for Christian educators: some evolutionary content is included in the activities, but not in the story itself.):
"Sometimes new information is uncovered that causes scientists to reconsider things they had previously thought had been correct. Scientists don't always agree with one another's ideas. For example, some scientists might not agree with other scientists' explanations of the trackways in this book. Questioning one another helps scientists to learn and piece together pictures of these ancient animals and their behavior."

Dino Tracks is aligned to State and Core Standards.

{The publisher provided a review copy for my honest opinions.}