Teaching Process Skills with Children's Literature: Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!


Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!, written by Kathleen Kudlinski and illustrated by S. D. Schindler, aims to show children that many theories about dinosaurs have been created throughout the years based on fossils and other various evidence.  However, and more importantly, it also shows that many of these theories that were once believed to be true, later turned out to be disproved by contradicting evidence.  Scientists discussed in the book made small mistakes, such as the one made regarding the Iguanodon fossil that was thought to be a spike on the dinosaur’s nose, but later turned out to be the animal’s hands.  On the contrary, they also made HUGE mistakes that concerned not just one, but the entire species of dinosaurs, like the one regarding their legs.  At first, scientists thought that dinosaurs “could only waddle clumsily on all fours” with elbows and knees that pointed out to the side like a lizard.  Evidence we have today proves that these huge creatures had legs that were straight under them, thus causing some to be “as fast and graceful as deer.”  Boy, were they wrong about dinosaurs!

Curriculum Connections
As an instructional tool, this book is a realistic, yet very kid friendly, introduction to the formulation of thought that drives the creation, and sometimes dissolution, of scientific theory.  It relates strongly to the Science Standard of Learning 3.1 parts (a) (b) and (j).  Scientists worked constantly to uncover new elements that would solidify what was already thought or not thought about the behavior, bones and characteristics of dinosaurs.  Predictions were made based on fossils, feathers, tracks, and other findings.  Through repeat observation, scientists could sometimes further make more concrete conclusions.

Additional Resources

  • Museum of The Rockies: A great site displaying additional resources relating to the continued discoveries made about dinosaurs.  It consists of blogs, books, DVD’s, other children’s books, and websites about dinosaurs.
  • Learning from the Past: A great website for educators to link this book with others like it.  In doing so, the site works to highlight ways to learn from the past.
  • Biology For Kids: This site can be helpful for teachers and students to better understand the process of scientific discovery.  In sharing Boy, Were Wrong About Dinosaurs! with children, this site can aid in explaining reasoning, questioning, evidence, and the creating and disproving of theory.

Book: Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!
Author: Kathleen Kudlinski
Illustrator: S. D. Schindler
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Book
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 27 pages
Grade Range: K-3
ISBN: 0525469788

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