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Rompin’ Dinos!

This is a lesson I did last year with my third grade students. It’s featured in my PDF Art Booklet “Art & Literature”. My second grade students are studying dinosaurs right now and even though I created a new dino lesson for them (featured later this week), I wanted to show you these cute little dancing numbers.

Drawing Handouts and full lesson tutorials available in my “Art & Literature” PDF.

Third Grade Dinosaurs:


  1. Fun and colorful Patty. Makes me want to dance:)


    March 7, 2011

  2. wow. those are wonderful. What amazing artwork from 3rd graders. 🙂 So playful and fun.


    March 9, 2011

  3. haha cute! i love these, they’re adorable!


    March 9, 2011

  4. Patty,
    I just finished teaching this lesson to my 500 students from K- 5th grade and even my special needs students. This was worth every dollar!

    This was successful on all levels.I have only one hour to teach my younger and one hour 15 for my older kids. I teach three classes in a day with a 15 -20 minute break in between.

    I began by showing the kids the book you recommended, “Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp”. We had no time to read it so instead I copied the center illustration of the book and placed it in page protectors on the table. We began by drawing a simple design for the dinosaur in pencil. Only a circle for the head and circle for the stomach, a backwards C for the front of the leg,etc.. Then we put the pencil down and used crayon for all details. The teeth stripes patterns on the tail etc. Next came the liquid water color, (you were right it’s incredible), I allowed the kids to pick any color for the dinosaur, we sprinkled Kosher salt and we had terrific success with that making it’s marvelous starburst patterns in the wet paint. The rubbing alcohol was saved for only the upper grades. I didn’t allow the K-1’s to paint the sky, only the ground. The rest got to paint the sky and ground as well. My only frustration is the amount of set up to do this, though the finished product was so worth it.
    The set up was insanity though per table of 4 students:Four paper place mats, 4watercolor sheets, 4 paper towels 4 pencils,4 large black crayons, that need to be resharpened between classes, 4 erasers, 4 water cups, 4 paint brushes, 2 cups of salt, 2 cups of rubbing alcohol, 4 q-tips, 1 cup of goggly eyes one muffin tin with 6 colors of paint (I chose pink, yellow, green turquoise, blue and purple) all with lids that muss be removed prior to class. I only have 15 minutes in between class to reset for the next class so it was a crazy rush to take paintings off the desks, carefully place them on the floor or empty tables. Then flip over place mats and throw away the wet paper towels, rinse and refill water cups and then reset all the supplies and rinse out the yellow paint which was always contaminated no matter how much you remind them o clean brushes in between water changes. I was able to get a few student helpers to stay behind from the older classes to help me scramble to get ready. I was on my own for Kinder and 1st. I should have lost at least 5 lbs for all the running around I did. Wonderful lesson, I can’t wait to do it again one day, but i may need a nap before then. Whew!!
    A couple things I learned for those who are venturing out to try this fabulous lesson.
    *the book is not in Book stores any more, you can order it online though. I would recommend getting a few copies dos the teacher can take it backhand read it to the class.
    * I decided to start skipping the lights at the top of the painting, the kids kept only painting the sky up to the lights and then stopping, it made the paintings look like it was a white curtain at tehtop of the painting. The dinosaur is wonderful and it doesn’t need the lights.
    * I made sure the kids knew to make the head big ( I work on a 8.5X11 format) So I told them to make the head circle the size of a big orange, This helped so the kids weren’t frustrated with a tiny head. My best hint happened toward the end of my 21 lessons, I told the kids to make the head big enough for the goggly eyes and then held up the biggest goggly eye. That fired up the kids and on those two last lessons I had NO pin-head dinos!
    * I showed the kids a directed drawing lesson for the first part, we started with a two circles on top of one another to form the head and tummy.I stressed numerous times not to worry about the circles being perfect. That we would cut open the head to add a huge mouth, once again mentioning the bigger the mouth the more room for din chomped teeth. We used crayon after we drew in the mouth and erased the front of the circle where the open mouth now stood. I didn’t allow them to draw the teeth with pencil, they became too small, wait and let them use the crayon.
    Speaking of crayons, I used the big chubby black ones,I started with a regular one in black but they kept breaking in their hands as they pushed hard to make the lines show up.
    * Have the kids go over their lines two times so they are really thick and dark. It helps to build a wax wall that repels the water color.
    *Liquid Water color is worth every penny ,i didn’t dilute the colors but maybe I should have to make the colors stretch, but the finished product was so beautiful that it was worth it.
    * Make sure you keep lids on the paint and rubbing alcohol as the kids come sitting down in class, we had a few spills when I didn’t keep lids on, a real beautiful paint mess on the floor and i had to keep teaching right through it all. Just have them remove lids once everyone is seated, if the kids are older.
    * Use Tacky Glue for the Google eyes, its super thick and I buy one big bottle and come around squirting a small dot on each dino face towards the end. Once the kids finish their painting they glue the eye on. *Let the salt sit for at least a couple hours before brushing it off. You can pay kids with a chocolate kiss to help gently brush the salt off. It can be reused for future classes.
    *Buy more yellow than other colors, it has to be replaced every class so don’t put much in the cup. It’s gonna get ruined anyway. The other colors seem to stay normal.
    *Invest in a drying rak, I don’t have one so that means 105 paintings a day laying all over the floor,counter, book shelves etc.
    I wish your site allowed us to post a photo so you could see these terrific Dancing Dinos.
    Thank you again Patty!
    This was by far my students favorite project so far. Well worth all the set up.


    March 21, 2011

    • Wow! What great feedback! I love this lesson as well. I don’t use pencils or erasers and tend to favor oil pastels over crayons for the very reason you said-they break too easily trying to achieve a dark line. I’d dilute the w/c’s as they won’t last long. The colors are concentrated so you’ll still achieve a strong color. Go ahead and post a picture on my facebook site or email me a picture. I’ll post it somewhere! Thanks!


      March 21, 2011

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