Flannel Friday: Dinosaurs Early Math Makeover

I recently gave an old favorite flannel a new early math makeover! Like the five little ducks, these dinosaurs go out to play. I first learned this song (and picked up the pattern) from Melissa over at Mel’s Desk:


Flannelboard: Felt dinosaurs of various sizes, colors and types, including: stegosaurus, triceratops, pterodactyl and brontosaurus.

One dinosaur went out to play
On a giant fern one day.
They had such enormous fun,
They called for another dinosaur to come!
“Oh, diiiiiinosaur!”

…two, three, four, five

CREDIT: Mel’s Desk

For my early math makeover, I knew I wanted more than 5 dinosaurs and more points of comparison. I wanted to have enough pieces to hand out a dinosaur to each member of the audience in a small storytime, so I made 5 of each dinosaur type. I also changed the sizes, making small and large versions of each dinosaur. Now we have several points of comparison: color, size, and type!

When I hand out the flannel pieces, I encourage families to compare/contrast their dinosaurs. Whose dinosaur is the tallest? Whose is the shortest? How are they the same? How are they different? And so on.

Then we sing and the audience listens for their turn to bring up their particular kind of dinosaur. I call them up by color, size or type:

One dinosaur went out to play
By a volcano far away.
They had such enormous fun,
They called for another dinosaur to come!
“Oh, triiiiiiceratops!”

And then all the people with a triceratops come up and find a place for it on the flannelboard. Then we count and do the song again with a different kind of dinosaur.

When it’s all said and done, there’s still more opportunities for early math moments! We can count all the dinosaurs on the board. We can group all the dinosaurs on the board by different attributes and compare which group we have the most/least of. “How many flying dinosaurs do we have? How many non-flying dinosaurs? Do we have more dinosaurs that fly, or more dinosaurs that stay on land? How can you tell?”

Sometimes, my tyrannasaurus puppet comes at the end of the song and scares all the other dinosaurs away:


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