Empathetic Dinosaurs

We have been learning about all kinds of dinosaurs this week. Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops are among a few.

Throughout the week, we have been talking about empathy and what it means to be empathetic. I have been observing the students looking to see if they are applying what I am teaching by playing cooperatively, taking turns, and if they are considering the feelings of their peers.

Mother Goose Time sends a book of the month. This month’s book is called Jurassic Jam. It is about dinosaurs who play instruments. The students loved this book! What they love even more then the book, is the magnetic story pieces and puzzle that goes along with the book. After I read the book today, I let the students choose whether they wanted to play with the story pieces and retell the story/make-up their own story OR work on the dinosaur puzzle. Half the students chose the story pieces and the other half chose the puzzle. I watched as the students had to work together to either tell a story or create a puzzle.

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With the magnetic story pieces, the students divided the animals and instruments up between the 3 of them and they were in charge of those characters when acting out the story. They worked together to retell the story and helped each other out when one of their friends couldn’t remember how the story went. When one student realized that her dinosaur was supposed to be playing the guitar, but her friend had the guitar she started to cry. I noticed that the girl with the guitar said, “We can share the guitar!” They took turns using the guitar to tell a different story.

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With the puzzle, one of the students immediately took charge. She gave the other 2 students in her group 1 puzzle piece to put on the puzzle and she gave herself the rest. The other two students noticed instantly that this was not fair. We had a talk about sharing and how everyone would like to contribute to the puzzle equally. I helped them divide the puzzle pieces up among themselves evenly. We talked about how it would make you feel if a friend wasn’t sharing a task equally. As the girls worked on the puzzle, I noticed that they helped each other find where the puzzle pieces were supposed to go. One girl asked, “Does someone have a piece with pink spikes? I think it goes here…” Working together to create the puzzle taught them about taking turns, sharing a task equally, and empathy.

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I am super lucky to be these wonderful girl’s teacher.

** I receive curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. This is my 3rd year using Mother Goose Time, and I am pleased to promote quality educational learning experiences through play with Mother Goose Time!

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