"Green with spots, Spiky scales, Sharp teeth, and Drool..."
Next, I asked them to tell me what a dragon looked like.
"Fire coming out of their mouth, Big Tails, Scary, Really big."
Great answers! Now the big question...Which ones are real? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Blank faces stared up at me as if I turned into an alien creature. I could see their little minds thinking and one of my boys started to laugh and said, "There are no more dinosaurs."
We talked about possible things that could have happened to the dinosaurs and how after millions of years scientists are finding dinosaur bones to study and learn about them. I just couldn't help myself and had to ask..."What about dragons?"
Another long pause...more thinking..."There are no more dragons!" a girl giggled. "They are sleeping with the dinosaurs!"
I couldn't keep from giggling and soon we were all laughing. I knew I had to get them back on the right path or I'd be receiving emails, texts, and phone calls from concerned parents. So I explained that there are no dragons and that all of the dinosaurs are extinct (many young children refer to being dead as sleeping).
We talked about the difference between real creatures and fantasy creatures and I told them that scientists don't think dinosaurs ever breathed fire...but the idea was very cool so authors created dragons for stories.
We read the story THE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BIG DINOSAUR and then later in the day we read DRAGONS LOVE TACOS. These are two of my favorite Dinosaur and Dragon books.
I have to admit...I was keeping my fingers crossed that the kids would talk to their parents about the difference between dinosaurs and dragons and not that they were sleeping together.