Little global kids have an insatiable passion for learning about the Earth. That is why early childhood is the perfect time to introduce children to many of the fascinating facts about our planet– like the fact that dinosaurs roamed the Earth for over 160 million years! Learning about how and why Earth is the only (known) planet able to sustain life fosters a healthy respect for nature, and assists young children in developing the knowledge that will help them understand and appreciate the connections between humans, their actions and the environment.
Global education requires a holistic approach — with the goal of developing an understanding that everything on Earth is interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
Dinosaur fossils and other paleontology discoveries have educated the world on how things have evolved from the original forms of life on Earth to the present forms, and how climate cycles in the past might correlate with climate changes of today. All of this information provides scientists with knowledge of what factors may cause a significant impact on life and ecosystems now and in the future.
Learning about environmental science through dinosaurs may even appeal to children who may not be particularly interested in subjects such as world geography or geology. A reluctant reader may devour an appealing book about fossils from the Cretaceous Period and thereby get a great introduction on: how fossils are formed; on which continents each type is found; how to distinguish between rock formations; the process evolution; and possible causes of extinction.
In short, dinosaurs provide a wonderful way of teaching a young audience about life on Earth, and how sciences like geology and biology are interrelated. This makes for a great foundation for further learning related to relevant global issues such as global warming and conservation.
If you are not lucky enough to live near a natural history museum, no worries — the internet and libraries offer many excellent resources for learning about paleontology!
The What on Earth? Wallbook of Natural History by Christopher LLoyd
My boys absolutely love this enormous wallbook! It can be unfolded and spread out on the floor, or hung on the wall. On one side, this unique visual guide is a timeline which lays out life on earth beginning with the microscopic bacteria in the sea to the extraordinary more complex he creatures which gives way to land dwelling dinosaurs.
Next, the book explores the era of 65 million years ago when these creatures are wiped out, which gives way to the mammal domination of the planet — all the way up to the humans of today.
On the back of the guide, are the stories of the natural scientists who have made all of the major scientific discoveries that we know of today. This is an extraordinary and comprehensive book which is a wonderful approach to illustrating the entire history of nature and natural science.
Check out this video in which the author, Christopher LLoyd, describes the book:
Age of the Dinosaur by Steve Parker:
This book is a fun, colorful and informative book suitable for children in kindergarten through second-grade. The book is loaded with fascinating prehistoric facts, puzzles and activities. It explores the Mesozoic Era and various dinosaurs which lived during the three periods of that era: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. Each well-illustrated page layout contains a different subject matter, from the study of fossils to the continental drift. Other engaging topics of the book include giant sea-dwelling creatures, and flying, feathered dinosaurs.
The book concludes with a discussion of causes of mass extinction and a look into the future as problems of global warming and pollution threaten today’s plants and animals.
Here is a great online resource to explore the geographical areas inhabited by dinosaurs during the Mesozoic Era, ranging from dense forests to dusty plains to dry deserts.
Disclaimer: The products reviewed were received at no cost, however, I have not been paid by or otherwise received any compensation from the license holder of any product mentioned or reviewed in this post. My reviews are simply an honest analysis of my experiences with the actual books, learning materials or other products we use in our home.