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How to make a pterodactyl for a 1st-grade school project

Updated April 13, 2017

Pterosaurs are also referred to as pterodactyls, which were flying reptiles and existed from the Triassic Period to the end of the Cretaceous Period. The wings of pterodactyls were formed by a skin membrane, muscles and tissues that went from the legs to the fourth finger. Students in first grade can make a pterodactyl that flaps its wings for a school project.

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  1. Find a picture of a pterodactyl (see References) or have first-graders draw one themselves.

  2. Cut the picture of the pterodactyl out and have the first-grade students colour it to their liking using crayons, markers or paints.

  3. Fold the pterodactyl in half and cut a hole in the middle of the pterodactyl using a hole punch.

  4. Take a straw and cut it down the middle so that it is split. The split should only be about 1cm in length.

  5. Take a straw and cut it down the middle so that it is split. The split should only be about 1/2 to 1cm in length. First grade students may mark the correct length with a ruler and pen or marker prior to cutting the straw.

  6. Push the straw through the hole in the middle of the pterodactyl and bend the sides over the side of the pterodactyl.

  7. Take the second straw and cut it so that you take off about an inch (depending on the length of the straw). Cut the straw so that it split down the middle and bend both sides of the straw back.

  8. Slide the straw down over the smaller straw as far down as it will go. The split end should be down towards the pterodactyl. Your straws should essentially be combined.

  9. Put a piece of tape over each of the ends of the straw so that it is on each wing of the pterodactyl.

  10. Have the first-graders slide the straw back and forth in order to flap the wings of the pterodactyl.

  11. Tip

    If doing this as a class project, you may consider preparing the straws for the students so they have them readily available. If first-grade students cut the straw themselves, make sure they use the scissors safely.

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Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • Paper punch
  • 2 straws (one should be larger than the other)
  • Tape

About the Author

Andrea Helaine has a Bachelor of Philosophy in theology and is currently finishing her thesis course for a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. Helaine has been writing professionally for over 10 years and has been published in several anthologies and is currently breaking into the screenwriting market.

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