How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? (Hardcover) by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Mark Teague. Blue Sky Press, 2007. ISBN: 978043902081. pp: 32. Ages: 4-8, gr: preschool-3



The ten brightly colored dinosaurs of this book act up a lot. They act up on the way to school and especially at school. They soon learn what good manners are and how to use them. The dinosaurs soon become very helpful.


  1. Small group or class activity — Analyze the pronunciation of each dinosaur name. Practice saying the names together. Listed in the order presented in the book:
    • centrosaurus SEN-tro-SAWR-us
    • ceratosaurus ser-RAT-uh-SAWR-us
    • segnosaurus SEG-noh-SAWR-us
    • stygimoloch STIJ-eh-MOLL-uk
    • herrerasaurus huh-RARE-ah-SAWR-us
    • silvisaurus SILL-vah-SAWR-us
    • monolophosaurus MON-oh-LOAF-oh-SAWR-us
    • diplodocus di-PLOD-o-kus
    • dsungaripterus jung-GER-i-TER-us
    • iguanodon ig-WAHN-oh-don
  2. Teacher-planned vocabulary discussion — The dinosaur names are the big words, but are there other vocabulary words that your students may not shave seen before? List these words for the students, and after reading the book, ask if they know the definitions of these words. Discuss how they apply to the story. Say the words together.

  3. As each dinosaur first appears in the book, the name is hidden in the picture. Work in pairs to find all ten names.

  4. Recreate the book as a class using other animals to make a "How Do Animals Go to School?" by [class name]. Each student selects an animal and a situation from a page in the book. They will draw and color their animal and write about what is happening. Once everyone is completed, put the pages together to make your own classroom book. Note: 14 pages; several have more than one situation.

  5. Upper primary reader — Pick a dinosaur that is not one of the ten in the book. Use How to Write a Great Dinosaur Report to report on the dinosaur you have chosen.

  6. Teacher-prepared learning centers — There are ten different dinosaurs in the book. Use Enchanted Learning and the section Zoom Dinosaurs website with materials from your school media center to create ten different learning stations. Provide pictures, short explanations and related activities about each of these dinosaurs. Have your students visit each station. Tell them to keep in mind one thing about their favorite dinosaur to share with the class.

  7. Have the students draw and color their favorite dinosaur from the book. Once they finish, create a classroom bulletin board with the different names of the dinosaurs and the students’ illustrations. Look at other students’ drawings of their favorite dinosaurs.

  8. Find out about Jane Yolen. Experienced students can click the link and read independently; for younger, display the page on a large screen/projector for students to follow along as you read it aloud.
    The teacher can provide more information from sites listed below under Author.

  9. Pick another "How Do Dinosaurs" book by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague and ask the class to compare one of those books to the book How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? A good way to make the comparison is by drawing a Venn Diagram on the board and write about similarities and differences as your students tell you.
    • How do dinosaurs say goodnight? (2000) hardcover, preschool-2
    • How do dinosaurs get well soon? (2003) hardcover, preschool-3
    • How do dinosaurs eat their food? (2005) hardcover, preschool-2
    • How do dinosaurs clean their rooms? (2004) boardbook, toddler - preschool
    • How do dinosaurs count to ten? (2004) boardbook, toddler - preschool
    • How do dinosaurs play with their friends? (2006) boardbook, toddler - preschool
    • How do dinosaurs learn their colors? (2006) boardbook, toddler - preschool
  10. Teacher-led class discussion — Choose one scene from the book as a class and discuss why or why not, depending on the scene that is chosen, the behavior shown by the dinosaur is good or bad. Write the ideas on a board so the class can see them.

  11. Make dinosaur puppets: provide paper bags for the students and cut outs of a dinosaurs head and body. The students will color each dinosaur piece then cut them out. They will then glue the head on the bottom of the sack (the flap) and the body of the dinosaur on the body of the sack. Once they are finished creating them, allow them time to act out with their puppets as the dinosaurs did in the story, choosing one partner to act with if they wish. Alternately, make a dinosaur marionette.

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