I was surprised how much first graders know about dragons--and what they didn't know. Very few had heard about St George and the dragon, or were familiar with dragons as maiden eating pests, but many knew about wise Chinese dragons, as well as many modern dragon stories that I don't know.
Children could describe many kinds of dragons; dragons that live in water, those that have wings, the many that are serpent like. They knew that not all dragons have legs, not all spit fire (some spit ice!), many spit poison.
I gave the children plastic modeling clay and three ways to make the dragon body: starting with a ball, a cylnder (snake), or a pancake shape. I showed them ways to individualize their dragons by pulling out long necks or legs, making fins for the water dragons, adding horns, drawing on scales, etc. We found the pancake shape was best for making sea dragons with fins.
Here are some of the results:
|Making the eyes on a Sea Dragon|
|Check out the nest, complete with eggs!|
|This Dragon has 4 wings!|