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Why did dinosaurs become extinct?

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Around 65 million years ago dinosaurs suddenly disappeared. What caused them to die out? This has been the focus of our learning this week...

To support our personal, social and emotional development we have been developing our listening and attention and turn taking skills. During circle time I passed around a talking object, a volcano! You took it in turns to talk about and describe the object, I was impressed to hear words such as erupt, explode and lava and equally as impressed at how you listened to each others thoughts and ideas.

This week to enhance our communication and language development we have been introduced to lots of new language including, volcano, erupt, experiment, react, acid, alkali, dissolve, scientist, lava, volcanic ash and produce – wow! We have also revisited our prior learning and have been explaining to the group what extinct and excavate mean and describing how we know so much about dinosaurs. I have been in awe at how much information has been retained and how confidently you speak in a group. It has also been lovely to hear the comments from our parents about all the information your children have been telling you at home about their learning in preschool. To develop our listening and attention skills further we have played T Rex says.. (a take on Simon says). The children have had to listen carefully and follow the instruction. T-Rex says... you are fantastic listeners!

Within our physical development we have been experimenting with different ways of moving. We have used our bodies to erupt like a volcano and have thought of different ways to move like a dinosaur. We found out it was quite tricky to run or even walk on all fours like some dinosaurs. We have also enjoyed moving in different ways in our outdoor area and have focused on developing our balancing skills.

To develop our literacy development we have continued to share our fiction and non-fiction books from preschool and home and talk about the different features.We have also been introduced to the words authour, illustrator and blurb. Can you ask your child to tell you what they mean? On reading our information book 'First Facts about Dinosaurs' by Charlie Gardner we learned the answer to our question "What caused dinosaurs to die out?" we found out we can't be sure exactly what happened to the dinosaurs but some scientists believe that giant rocks from space smashed into the earth creating clouds of dust. In addition, we learned that lots of volcanoes erupted, throwing up more clouds of ash and dust, which blocked out the sun. Earth began to freeze and the plants died, leaving many dinosaurs without food. Isn't it amazing that we can learn so much from reading and looking at books!

To ignite our understanding of the world we watched a real volcano erupting on the interactive white board and observed lava "bubbling" "squirting" from out of the top of the volcano we found out that the lava is very hot and saw how much smoke and volcanic ash it produced. We then became scientists to experiment how volcanoes erupt! Throughout the week we experimented as a whole group and as individuals. First we filled a cup with some water then added bicarbonate of soda. We used a spoon to stir the mixture and watched as the powder dissolved. Then we added food colouring and some fairy liquid. Lots of the children observed changes to the colour as we added more ingredients "It looks like kiwi juice" "It looks like lava now". Then it was time for the exciting part, we added vinegar (acid) to our mixture (alkali) and watched in amazement as the ingredients reacted and our volcano erupted – wow!

Within our expressive arts and design development this week we have created our own volcanoes. We painted our volcano using tea leaves and then added orange tissue to the top " It looks like lava" some of the children observed. Come and look at our volcanoes on our display. We have also been singing lots of traditional nursery rhymes and we have learnt two new dinosaur songs "You're a dinosaur and you know it" and "Dinosaur Roar".

What a 'roarsome' week we have had exploring why dinosaurs are extinct.

Have a wonderful weekend preschool,

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