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A Toddler Reading Comprehension Lesson | I’m A Dirty Dinosaur

I'm a Dirty Dinosaur Comprehension Lesson for Usborne BooksFor today’s Literacy Lesson after lunch, we worked on reading comprehension. I built my lesson around the Kane Miller book, I’m a Dirty Dinosaur by Janeen Brian & Ann James. You can snag your own peppy book HERE. They have also just released I’m a Hungry Dinosaur! I can’t wait to get that one! 
Throughout the book, you follow along with the Dirty Dinosaur in a fun sing-song beat. {Well, I sing it anyway} He’s smug, peppy and fun-loving. He collects dirt and mud on his body as he goes on his way.

I drew up my own little freehand sketches of the dinosaur. My sketches are totally based on the book, and not my own creation, but I did draw them myself.

Introduction Lesson

While I drew them, I talked to Cash, who watched me, about long strokes, short strokes, quick strokes, and small shapes. One of the best parts about drawing in front of kids is the opportunity to explain to them about making mistakes. I screwed up my drawings… a lot! But then, I used other colors {I love the illustrations in I’m a Dirty Dinosaur because they look sketch like with multiple colors} to refine my edges and correct shapes. I could talk to Cash about not getting too upset if your drawing isn’t perfect or just the way it’s supposed to look. This was probably an entire lesson in itself!… which I, of course, have no pictures of because my hands were drawing.


I strongly encourage you to draw your own dinosaurs. Maybe even have the kids draw them if they’re older! You can have conversations about lines, colors, and of course, going with the flow of a mistake. I always try to make my mistakes look like they were part of the big picture all along! 🙂 That’s just me.


If you absolutely can’t draw a dinosaur, you can download mine for FREE as a JPEG at the bottom of this post. 


On The Mess Mat, Cash set himself up with a lap desk {one of my favorite Christmas presents! Thank you Grammy Tammy!} and my back rest. I read the book to him once through before we opened the pudding and asked him if he could “keep up” with the Dirty Dinosaur.

Reading Comprehension Lessons for Toddlers with Chocolate Pudding

The question for comprehension is key here. You want your question to be a bit leading and sort of vague since after all, you’re quizzing for comprehension. You can’t exactly say, “Paint the dinosaur in the exact places as he gets dirty while I read the story” because that would give it away…


When I read, “Dirty, Dirty Snout” Cash would put pudding on the drawing’s nose. Tummy, tail, feet, etc followed. He did fantastically. He even had his little pudding finger poised for me to read the next page and then quickly poked the area I read about.


I was pretty impressed by Cash’s discipline with the pudding. He truly didn’t dive into it until we were through the story once. I
actually had to ask him, “would you like to taste it?” which then opened the door to a real mess. A super FUN mess though.

Cash got enthusiastic with his pudding painting on the verse where he “taps his belly like a drum” which is when the drawing disappeared under the pudding!

One of the many reasons I love the new lap desks in The Mess Mat area is that they are easy to clean! Before, I would have likely done this lesson in the bathtub or even on The Mess Mat and would have mopped up. Not anymore! I can just pick up the mess in one hand and haul it to the sink. No more stiff-arming the Yearling to keep him from crawling through it!


I was prepared to throw the pudding soaked paper away but Cash said he wanted to show it to Dad {obviously Mom! Get it together} so I scrapped off all the excess pudding and hung it to dry. I underestimated how proud he would be of his Dirty Dinosaur, but of course, he was!

*This post does not contain affiliate links. I am actually NOT an Usborne Book Consultant. I probably would be if this was 10 years ago… However, the links above do go through to a year-long party that I’m the host for, so if you do buy the book, I’ll earn credit for more books. Thanks!! 

See our latest lesson for I’m a HUNGRY Dinosaur!

Teaching with Food always encourages fun and learning, especially when kids are hard to motivate. The I'm a Hungry Dinosaur Reading Comprehension Lesson is both fun and creative. Teaching Reading Comprehension with Food and Usborne Books. How to teach Comprehension. Reading Lessons for Toddlers. Toddler Reading Activities.

Welcome to Mom School! This post is one of many Homeschool Preschool Lessons with #MySweetandSticky {Cash & Wyatt} As a former educator, I wanted to give them their best start before heading into public schools. (Which we LOVE!) On occasion, and throughout the summer, we continue our At-Home Learning. Cash is my Science Guy and Wyatt can’t get enough Sensory Play. Join us for every Sweet & Sticky moment.

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9 thoughts on “A Toddler Reading Comprehension Lesson | I’m A Dirty Dinosaur

  1. I love this book! Can’t wait to use it now that I am back at work from maternity leave. Sadly, I could not download the dinosaur PDF.

    1. Do you mean without the License credit up at the top? You could cut them off if you needed to, but they need to be there for copyright when displayed 🙂

  2. I’d like to use your dino pic download for a class I’m teaching online. Would I have your permission?
    Thank you!

    1. Hello there! That would be wonderful! But please make sure you tag/reference my website and of course Usborne 🙂

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