Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Dino Name Game

1. I am a big nerd about etymology.

2. I have a reading knowledge of Greek and Latin.

Hopefully, this has made clear to you why I have made my four- and six-year-old children a game based around Greek and Latin word roots.

It's super-fun, I swear.

Will is always fascinated when I translate dinosaur names for her--the names actually make sense!--so I collected the most common Greek and Latin word roots that are used for dinosaur names (ignoring, of course, the other two ways in which dinosaurs are named, which is after people or places), copied them neatly onto word strips, wrote the translations on the back, and then laminated them and cut them out:
I like the table of Greek and Latin dinosaur descriptors, but the most important thing to me was to include all the word roots for the girls' favorite dinosaurs, and the word roots that are the most descriptive and evocative, so I also did a lot of flipping through our dinosaur encyclopedias to pick up ideas.

Now that we have a nice, big stack of descriptors in a drawstring bag (more on that later), the girls enjoy pulling the cards out and using them to construct funny dinosaurs:
Here Willow, who wanted to face the cards so that I could see them, was trying to make "the longest dinosaur name in the world."

Her plateotripteroderm just may win the prize!

1 comment:

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a brilliant game! I taught for a couple of years in Malawi and lack of resources menat we had to invent classroom activities and this would have been perfect! I love dinosaurs and their names too!