ROAR!!!! There were some dinosaurs roaming around around campus this week—you have to check out our visitors in Cara’s latest book. Kids love dinosaurs and ours are no exception! Hope you enjoy seeing how we carried out the theme throughout all our groups this week.


IMG_9694The land the dinosaurs ruled was filled with lots of vegetation so we filled this box with moss and leaves. We put in some plastic eggs and a variety of dinosaurs. Some of them had a button you could push to make them ROAR—needless to say, this was a huge hit!

We put in a variety of play food—meat for the meat eaters and vegetables for the plant eaters. Some fossils (playdough molds), a large letter D, and a bone shaped cookie cutter.

So much language and play included in this box—don’t you just love the action going on in this picture.

In addition to lots of fine motor skills addressed as students manipulate the various objects, press buttons etc., lots of access points are addressed. These include the science access point of distinguishing between a plant and an animal—if you are trying to feed your dinosaur, you know its an animal! It also addresses the language access point of selecting a familiar object to explore.



IMG_9878IMG_9561So while it’s not totally clear if dinosaurs became oil, we decided to go ahead and make a “fossil fuel”  goo bag which was tons of fun.

It was made by mixing cooking oil and black paint and putting it in a heavy duty freezer bag, We then taped the bag onto a tray—and kept a supply of packing tape handy in case of slight rips. As the week went along and multiple classes participated in our groups—we did find  DOUBLE bagging and TAPING worked best 🙂

While some of our students practiced prewriting strokes or even wrote their names— others were fascinated by watching the oil and paint swirl around—-so cool!

This addresses the science access point of applying a push or pull to move an object.



IMG_9567Dinosaurs are reptiles so they don’t have fur like mammals!

We used our plush fabric to represent mammals and we cut up an old green leather purse to make our dino skin. Our students enjoyed running their hands over the different textures, comparing and contrasting them.

This activity addresses the science access point of using the senses to recognize objects.











IMG_9709IMG_9847We wanted to convey the idea of dinosaurs sharp teeth without the item actually BEING sharp—this pin board seemed the perfect fit. It doesn’t really have pins, just small plastic dowels with rounded ends.

Our students had a blast with it, finding it utterly fascinating. They loved the impressions as they moved their hands and pushed against the pins.

Really, really, REALLY fun!

This activity addresses the science access point of applying a push or pull to move an object.





IMG_9845Our discovery bottle was filled with black glitter, sequins and orange colored corn syrup and we think it looks just like molten lava—something the dinosaurs may have encountered!

As the bottle is rotated or rolled, everything slowly moves around and is pretty fascinating to look at.

This addresses the science access point of tracking moving objects.











IMG_9659We included a variety of scents this week. From the “Follow your Nose” game we smelled pine, mushroom and fire scents which we thought would be similar to the ones dinosaurs might have smelled as they roamed around.

These were some pretty funky scents and it was fun watching the different reactions we got—-giving our students lots of opportunities to communicate preferences 🙂

This addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli.









IMG_9726Dinosaurs also roamed around in some swampy places—-so we made a green jello swamp. Totally messy fun with some dinosaurs, palm trees and a dinosaur cookie cutter.

This is a really different texture and as usual, some of our students dived right in while others were quite hesitant 🙂

Grasp skills are promoted as our students pick up the various items buried in the jello or use the cookie cutter.

Science access points are also addressed including applying a push or pull to move an object, distinguishing between a plant and animal, and identifying objects by one observable property—in this case GREEN jello.







IMG_9732IMG_9576Our play snow reminded us of how climate change may have caused the dinosaurs to become extinct. We were really excited about how well it lasted—we kept it re-fridgerated which may have helped!

Our students were really not quite sure what to make of it at first—-cold and wet, hmmmm??

So much fun to grasp and squish!

The science access points of distinguishing between items that are wet and those that are dry and recognizing objects as warm or cold are totally explored in this activity!





IMG_9891Finally we rinsed our messy hands in Juniper Breeze scented water and then rubbed the lotion on our hands. We added a large measuring cup and a small spoon for scooping and pouring fun.

As students play with the different scoops they are exploring the math access point of recognizing the differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.

In addition, as seen in this picture, the science access point of recognizing external body parts and the math access point of indicating a desire for more of an action or object is addressed.

So much fun today and a wonderful scent to help us remember the wonderful things we learned about the dinosaurs today!








On Tuesday we “discovered” some  fossils!  Ok so coloring all those dino skeletons was a little labor intensive prep but our students were so excited as they watched their fossils appear on the paper that it made it well worth it! Joy lightly sketched the skeletons and Jeannie’s assistants—she has some really nice assistants 🙂 —colored them in with a white crayon. We adapted this activity from a glue resist art activity we saw on Pinterest.


IMG_9628IMG_9642First we discussed what color paint we were going to use (showing them the container) and had them identify the color using our communication symbols.

They did a really good job!

Identifying an object by one observable property is a science access point.





IMG_9653IMG_9637Then we discussed the shape (rectangle) of our paper, counted its 4 sides…..

….and started painting! We used diluted brown paint (it needs to be watercolor like) and wide foam brushes. Our students got so excited as the bones became more visible! This was totally fun!

The math access points of recognizing a common object with a 2 dimensional shape and recognizing the sides of a square or rectangle were addressed.




IMG_9627This turned out pretty cool, right!














On Thursday we continued our dinosaur theme by making a shape stegosaurus.

IMG_9738First our students chose what color stegosaurus they wanted from a variety of colors.

We used the communication symbols to increase literacy and to promote their ability to recognize two objects that are the same color which is a math access point.








IMG_9741IMG_9768Then they chose 2 squares which we cut into 4 triangles using our paper cutter and glued these to the dinosaur’s back.

Next we  used our circle punch to cut out 2 circles which were also glued onto our stegy.

1 big googlie eye and our stegy came to life!

Bilateral coordination is addressed as the students use the different cutting implements. Pincer grasp, eye hand coordination and spatial relations are promoted as the pieces are added to the dinosaur body.

As the paper is cut the science access point of recognizing a change in an object is addressed. Discussing the different shapes addresses the math access point of recognizing a common object with a 2 dimensional shape.

Counting the various objects additionally (no pun intended ha ha) addresses math access points.





IMG_9790—Ta Da super cute!

Peace Love and Dinosaurs 🙂













We started group out  reading Cara’s book.  We are super excited to finally have all our groups totally integrated with the same theme and our students totally enjoyed her fun book—-really who can resist dinosaurs 🙂


IMG_9798IMG_9794We brought a variety of  dinosaurs into the group, some of which also appeared in the book.  The students got to hold them and compare them. They were especially excited when they found out that some of them made noise when squeezed!

While the book was being read, we had the students locate which dinosaurs they saw in the classroom that were also in the book.

This addresses the language access points of responding to a familiar person reading a book aloud and responding to referent objects used in routines.

It also addresses the science access points of applying a push to move an object and recognizing and responding to common sounds—-they got lots of practice with this one 🙂





IMG_9806After the book, we brought out a simple dinosaur puzzle.  Students with fine motor difficulties took the puzzle pieces off of the board using our adapted puppy. He was made by hot gluing a shower curtain ring to his back and some velcro to his mouth.  Other students took out the pieces using their hands.  After taking them out, the dinosaurs were placed back on the board.

Picking up and placing the pieces back into the board addresses spatial relations and eye hand coordination.









IMG_9818Since the title of our book is “Dinosaurs Lived Long Ago”, we went over things that we see today versus things that were around during the age of the dinos.

The students got to pick from 2 different rows of Boardmaker symbols.  Students used a communication board  to request their choice by indicating “I want” and pointing to the row of pictures.

Of course, vocalizing is always encouraged as well!

Once they picked their choice, they had to cut out one of the pictures.  We used adaptive scissors for the cutting.





IMG_9826After cutting the picture out, the students had to decide whether the picture went “here” (a picture of a neighborhood representing “now”) or “there” (a picture of a jungle representing “then”).

The “here/there” picture symbols are taken from the PIXON 50 core vocabulary communication board that we have implemented into each class at our school.  For the most part, the students did really well with indicating where their picture should go.

Such smart students we have 🙂

The language access points of recognizing referent objects, pictures or symbols used in classroom activities—responding to differences in referent pictures or symbols used in routines—-and effectively communicate information using referent pictures, symbols or words. WOW!!!





IMG_9828And here are some of the dinosaur related words we found today—-such fun!








Join us again next week  for more fun, learning and great big smiles—-Group by Group 🙂


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