Today’s idea is courtesy of a college professor who really impacted my development as a teacher, Dr. Jimmie Russell. Dr. Russell taught future teachers at OBU until she lost her battle with cancer in 2002. She was one of those people whose enthusiasm for teaching was contagious.

One of Dr. Russell’s recommendations was that we help our students make their own versions of books that have predictable text to aid in learning to recognize sight words.

Gresham and I made our own version of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Eric Carle. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have read this book to one of my sons! It has definitely been a favorite at our house.

We called our version, “Dinosaur, Dinosaur, What Do You See?”

Gresham was thrilled to do this project because he loves this story, and he loves dinosaurs. He did his very best coloring.

We wanted an ending similar to the original book, so we did “Tyrannosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, what do you see? I see…” (Next page) A stegosaurus, a triceratops, an apatosaurus, a pteranodon, and a parasaurolophus running away from me!”

(Why did Gresham have to choose the hardest dinosaur names to spell?? And draw?? )

By the way, we got our dinosaur ideas from Dinosaurs by Design. This book is a fabulous resource on dinosaurs from a Creation perspective.

A few ideas:

  • I had to do most of the drawing on this project. If you don’t like to draw, cut pictures out of magazines!
  • You could also trace pictures for your book.
  • Another great book to do this activity with is It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. This is another book that I can’t read without thinking about Dr. Russell.
  • Gresham loves to “read” this book by saying all the words from memory. We are going to transition to pointing to each word as he says it. We will talk about the letter sounds in the words that repeat over and over, and hopefully he’ll pick up some of those as sight words.


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  1. jamie Aug 31, 2010

    Oh, how I wish Dr. Russell was still around. She was amazing. And I think of her often and want to call and ask her for advice about many students. I love your dino book. :)

  2. Lacy Aug 31, 2010

    Thanks for reminding me of these ideas, Sarah. It is a curious power that passionate teachers have on their students- they have the power to touch souls and change lives. I was touched by Dr. Russell, and consequently her influence on my life has helped shape my children and the students I have taught. I will be forever grateful she decided to become a teacher.

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