If you’re teaching Dinosaurs Before Dark or any other dinosaur unit, there are some truly remarkable dino themed books available as paired texts. Here are a handful that I find myself reaching for the most.
.5) Dinosaurs Before Dark – The Magic Tree House books guide my year for grade 2. Watching children meet Jack and Annie for the first time in this approachable but exciting chapter book is always a special treat. There are so many Magic Tree House books now that they can’t be easily fit into a 1 book 1 week model anymore! While some get left out, it will never be any of the first twelve, let alone #1. It’s usually a Merlin Mission here or there.
1.) We Don’t Eat Our Classmates – Penelope is simply the cutest T. Rex ever in her pink dungarees! Imagine her surprise when she finds out her classmates are all HUMANS. What should a little T. Rex do? Why.. treat others the way you want to be treated of course! This is really perfect for teachers who are so DONE with those lengthy rule lists and want a more simple approach.
2.) Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs – This is actually just one of Mo Willem’s dinosaur books, but it’s definitely my favorite. Everyone loves the original and can easily join in on an interactive read loud of this version. Mo’s funny little twist is really appreciated by little ones who are just starting to understand unreliable narration, character perspectives, and ‘twisted’ tales.
3.) Dino Duckling- Again, another great twist to an older tale. This time The Ugly Duckling has been turned topsy turvy when a dinosaur egg finds its way amongst the duck eggs. Lots of opportunity for listener participation exists here. Also, those retro themed illustrations are so appealing.
4.) What the Dinosaurs Did at School – The dinosaurs are back at it; this time at SCHOOL! If you’re a fan of Elf on the Shelf and want to really cause some mischief and mayhem, this is the pick for you. I’ve been meaning to try this out with our own dinosaur toys.
5. How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum – Another readable narrative nonfiction from Jessie Hartland (of How the Meteorite Got to the Museum). Narrative Nonfiction is my read aloud jam. If I’m asked to read to my daughters’ classes or have a public school visit planned this is what I reach for as the level of engagement is through the roof. Facts? AND a story? Sign me up.
Hopefully, you’ve received a spark of inspiration from these potential pairings!
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