Dinosaur!

Dinosaur!

I woke up this morning with a strange compulsion to look through some old pictures. Strange, because that’s not usually the first thing on my mind when I wake up. So, I pulled some hat boxes full of pictures out of my closet, opened them, and started going through. I lit on two pictures that brought back a lot of memories, memories of teaching kindergarten.

We did fun things in kindergarten. I taught in units: a “Me” unit to start off the year where we drew pictures of ourselves, wrote stories about us, and tried to instill the idea that each little one was special and unique, wrote favorite foods, etc.; then, there was an apple unit, a space unit, our favorite books unit, and the amazing dinosaur unit. Yes, dinosaurs. Five year olds love them. We sang “My Name Is Stegosaurus”, we counted plastic dinosaurs, we read piles of dinosaur books, and even made dinosaur t-shirts. Those children could memorize and correctly pronounce mile-long dinosaur names as well as I could.

Learning centered around these units or themes. Counting, art, reading, history, writing, all had to do with dinosaurs during this unit. To finish off that theme, we had a dinosaur hunt.

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I was blessed with an inventive and fun-loving aide, Linda Morris. She collected beef bones from a butcher she knew (these magically transformed into dino bones) and cantalopes for those intriguing dinosaur eggs. Then, she hid them on the playground. Kindergarteners hunted for them, having as much fun as they did at an Easter egg hunt. (That’s me in the picture, tallying up points.) They brought bones and eggs to me when they found them and I kept track of who found what. Then, we cut open those eggs and ate them for a snack! The dinosaur unit was one they remembered for a long time.

Those kindergarteners are grown with children who are in their teens now. And, I? Well, I’m a grandma and blessed by seeing my own little ones grow into adults. Times change, don’t they? But, every now and then, I like to pull out those old pictures along with the old memories and remember fun kindergarten times. Hunting for dinosaurs was one of them!

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