Friday, November 23, 2007

Dinosaurs Invade Elementary Schools

On Tuesday I paid a visit to the Grant D. Morse Elementary School in the Hudson Valley of New York State, at the base of Platte Clove. I did my PowerPoint and Magic Marker presentations for 300 kids in grades 4-6 and then another huge assembly of Kindergarten through third grade.

The girls from the school newspaper Just Print It interviewed me with astute questions about the creative process. They pressed me on a lot of topics, like exactly how many more books I plan to write, and then I asked them a few questions about how movie adaptations influence the way they imagine their favorite books.

Art teacher Elisa Tucci has had the students working with dinosaurs for a long time now. Here’s a wall of cutouts, drawings, and paper dioramas. There were giant T.rex footprints cut out of paper and taped to the floor of the hallways.

The kids collaborated on this spectacular panorama of dinosaurs on parade, with exotic architecture behind them.

I'd like to spotlight another teacher who has been working with Dinotopia. His name is Andrew Wales of the Lynch Bustin school in Athens, Pennsylvania. Here’a link to his blog journal, leading up to the big Dino Daze Family Fun Night day on November 30.

He says the students have been inspired by Gurney Journey to paint their own pictures, but "some students imagined a co-existence between humans and dinosaurs that was not so peaceful!" Here is one of the large dinosaur sculptures made from ingenious combinations of cardboard tubes and paper.

Time for Kids, the little magazine that comes home in school lunchboxes, also did a feature on the new Dinotopia book. Here's the link. Thanks, TFK, and my sincere appreciation to all the schoolteachers who have used Dinotopia in their classrooms.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I find it amazing that Dinosaurs have never gone 'out of style' with kids. (This coming from someone who had every dinosaur toy they could get their hands on as a kid and watched every dinosaur movie ever made as a kid. Ha)

Very cool stuff. Thanks for all the work on helping kids with their dino education Mr. Gurney!