Teach About Dinosaurs with Poems

I’ve been learning all about dinosaurs over the past several months, and I wouldn’t say I’ve become a master of the Mesozoic, but I have learned some pretty cool things. It’s probably too late for me to become a Paleontologist, but I really enjoyed writing these rhyming dinosaur poems.

Of course, when writing for grades 1-2, it’s always a little bit tricky balancing vocabulary stretching content words while reinforcing those all important high frequency words (sight words). Throw in some multi-syllabic dinosaur words and it had its challenges. Even so, as I move on to other projects, I’m truly going to miss those fascinating dinosaurs!

I like using short rhyming poems for teaching because they can:

  • help introduce factual information quickly in a mini-lesson
  • target instruction
  • engage students of all abilities

Why rhyming poems?

  • Rhyming is an important phonemic awareness skill, which helps new readers hear and discriminate between letter sounds.
  • Rhymes just stick in your head. There’s a reason why nursery rhymes have been around for centuries.

For instance, I wrote the dinosaur rhyme, “Herbivore’s Chore,” to target the vocabulary word herbivore and to teach the fact that herbivores eat plants. Since poetry can multi-task like nobody’s business, this poem can also be a used in language arts lesson to help teach phonics skills such as:

  • word families: ore, eat
  • r-controlled vowel /or/
  • long vowel digraph /ea/

You can get a really big teaching bang from just one short dinosaur poem!

Image of Triceratops dinosaur

It’s quite a difficult and complicated process to become a fossil, so it’s pretty amazing that there are as many as there are!

For use in a language arts lesson, I would use the dinosaur rhyme, “Fossilized,” to target:

  • long vowels with silent e/bossy e word pattern (CVCe)
  • suffix -ed

Image of dinosaur poem, "Fossilized," by Lorrie L. Birchall

For this project, I formatted the dinosaur poems as poem cards (with four dinosaur rhymes per 8.5″ x 11″ page), not only to make it more cost effective to make photocopies, but so the dinosaur rhymes could also be used as fluency cards in a dinosaur themed literacy center. Try the Dinosaur Rhymes: short dinosaur rhymes (FREEBIE SAMPLER HERE)


While researching this collection of dinosaur rhymes, I stumbled across a couple of really fantastic dinosaur freebies that I’d like to share:

  • I discovered 12 FREE dinosaur coloring pages created by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I really appreciate that the dinosaurs aren’t cute cartoony illustrations, because the real dinosaurs weren’t so cuddly. The museum provides many wonderful teaching resources on many other topics as well.
  • I also came across a really great FREE fossils PowerPoint created by the National Park Service. In 2010, seven year old girl Kylie Ferguson discovered a museum quality saber tooth cat fossil while exploring the Badlands National Park with her family. The PowerPoint is 29 slides and very well done. The graphics on the first page could be better, but it covers a lot of good information with nice photographic images.

If your class is learning about dinosaurs, consider using short rhyming poems to teach factual information in your targeted mini-lessons:

Dinosaur Rhymes: short dinosaur poems

Happy fun learning about dinosaurs!


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