Tuesday, January 21, 2014

There's No Such Thing as a Dragon

This is a fun little winter activity that I have always loved to make with my class.  At first you may not see the correlation between dragons and winter- but... you'll see!

First, I read There's No Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent, to my class.
Any dragon book will work- this is one I have had forever, and it is a cute one. This is a good book for a discussion about real and imaginary things.  The children love giving examples from the book about why they think the dragon is imaginary.  It's also about how important it is to notice things- people who may need a friend or be sad, or pets who need some love, or even details in pictures!

Next, I read the poem to the class and show some pictures like these to help explain the poem. As soon as I show these pictures, it all makes more sense! The children like to share their icicle experiences, too.

Finally, we do our fun little activity to go with the poem. 

I print out this roof on red paper. 

Yes- I drew that roof by hand.( I know- you can hardly believe it because it looks so much like an architect drew it, right?)  I'm sure you can make one more fancy, but this gives you an idea, anyway. 

The children cut out the roof. They always usually  cut off that chimney, so I model how to cut around the outside of the lines. I go over and over it- and still- have the tape ready. Guess what? Today  nobody cut off the roof! 

They pull apart a cotton ball for smoke dragon breath coming out of the chimney.
I give each child a strip of white paper so they can cut icicles to hang from the roof.  I model this a lot, too.  The kids had fun trying this part.  I also have some pre-made icicles, just in case someone gets frustrated. That isn't the goal of this lesson! Today- I  had quite a few who wanted the pre-made icicles. 

Finally, they glue on a copy of the poem, and the roof is complete.

Here is a copy of the poem paper if you would like it.  You can just click on the picture to get a copy of it.


The next step is drawing the dragon that lives underneath those icicles! 

I print out several different copies of "How to draw a dragon".  Here are several different sites with easy to draw dragons.  I have a copy of each type of drawing on each of the tables as a reference. This is good practice for the children to choose which dragon they want to draw and follow the directions- or freestyle and draw their own fabulous dragon!  I stress DETAILS with this drawing, because adding details to a dragon is so much fun! (You can click on any picture to take you to the page.)



Lucy Learns.com



Blue Tadpole Studio
Here are a few of the finished products.  You will see that most of mine "free-styled" with their dragons.  The sweet part was that they really did use the models and were so proud of their creations.

This was one of my favorites because the fire that the dragon was breathing was melting the icicles and making it rain!  

This one below looked like a really cool dragon with a sassy attitude  blowing smoke.
This is one serious fire-breathing dragon...

My friend Dan wrote this wonderful Disco Dragon D song that is PEFFECT for this lesson- especially if you want to review that tricky letter d! Thank you, Dan!   Check out Dan Colquhoun's  channel on Youtube.  He is great! 
Finally, here is a fun little Youtube Dragon Brain Break if it is 6 degrees outside and your children need to MOVE!

So that explains what on earth a dragon has to do with winter!  Have fun!

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