Year 1 and Reception Explore Dinosaurs

Children in Year 1 and Reception at Navigation Primary School had the chance to explore dinosaurs and fossils when an expert from Everything Dinosaur was invited to their school.  As part of a day of dinosaur themed teaching activities that had been planned by the teachers and the school’s hard-working support staff, the children were given the opportunity to make their own comic strips, design prehistoric animals, create giant dinosaur themed art as well as to get up close to fossils.  Dinosaurs as a topic can really help young children develop a keen interest in reading and the children were enthusiastically showing all the books that they had been studying about dinosaurs, one little boy even brought a book from home to show our dinosaur expert.

When it comes to developing an extensive vocabulary the children were quick to help out with lots of adjectives and having seen the long list of questions that Miss Carney and Miss Bolchover had compiled with the help of the children, it was clear that the dinosaur workshop had fired young imaginations.

Lots and Lots of Questions About Dinosaurs Generated

Dinosaur day inspires young, creative minds.

Dinosaur day inspires young, creative minds.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows some of the questions that the children in Year 1 came up with.  There were some amazing and thoughtful questions asked by the children, Miss Johnston’s favourite was why do dinosaurs go “grrr”?

As a topic, whether just for a day, as in the case of Navigation Primary or for a whole term, dinosaurs enthuse both girls and boys and really get them to engage with creative writing activities as well as helping to underline important teaching aims related to literacy, numeracy and simple scientific fundamentals.  For example, Emma showed our dinosaur expert part of a comic strip that she had started to create.  She had taken a great deal of care over the selection of her characters for her story, no doubt inspired by some of the fossils she and her class mates got the chance to handle.  Miss Sugden commented on how excited all the children were, she also mentioned that the teaching staff were also very keen to learn all about dinosaurs.

The Start of Emma’s Dinosaur Comic Strip

Dinosaur comic strip

Dinosaur comic strip

Picture Credit: Emma/Everything Dinosaur

We look forward to hearing more about how Emma and her friends develop their comic strips.

Tyler was delighted to learn that there was a large and fearsome marine reptile that had a name similar to his own (Tylosaurus).  Alex’s favourite dinosaur was Spinosaurus and we were happy to help Alex appreciate just how big this carnivorous, African dinosaur actually was.

School Children Draw Flying Reptiles

Which flying reptile am I?

Which flying reptile am I?

Picture Credit: Dylan/Everything Dinosaur

Young Dylan was inspired to draw a flying reptile (Pterosaur), he challenged our dinosaur expert to have a go at identifying which one it might be.  With something like 130 different species of Pterosaur now described it was quite a challenge working out which flying reptile Dylan had illustrated, we might have to ask Mrs Grosscurth (one of the teaching support staff at the school), to help us out.  During the dinosaur themed day, the teaching team had come up with lots of creative, hands-on activities for the children to try.  Young Freddie created his very own “Jurassic Park” scene on one of the classroom’s computers.  If there was a competition for the most amount of dinosaurs squeezed into a single picture then we think Freddie’s colourful  illustration would win.

Dinosaur Scene Created after Dinosaur Workshop

School children create dinosaur scenes

School children create dinosaur scenes

Picture Credit: Freddie/Everything Dinosaur

Teaching about dinosaurs in schools can lead to all sorts of extension activities.  Everything Dinosaur challenged the Reception and Year 1 children to have a go at designing their very own dinosaur.  They were asked to label the body parts and to think of a name for their prehistoric beast.  We saw some amazing and very imaginative dinosaurs, one of the best we saw was young Henry’s contribution.  Not sure what name Henry will give his multi-coloured dinosaur but “Rainbowsaurus” was suggested.

Designing a Dinosaur

Dinosaur drawings in school.

Dinosaur drawings in school.

Picture Credit: Henry/Everything Dinosaur

A lot of work had gone into planning the day and it was nice to explain to Mr Harrison, that, just like Tyler there was a prehistoric animal that shared a similar name – Scelidosaurus harrisoni and it was an English dinosaur too.  It was a pleasure visiting the school to teach about dinosaurs and our thanks to all the teachers and staff who helped make the children’s day so special.  Unfortunately, a couple of the teachers were unable to attend, but not to worry, we are confident that Mrs Mykoo, Mrs Fisher and  the rest of the staff can fill them in about all things Dinosauria.

Miss Johnston and Miss Bolchover had even made a large, outline sketch of the dinosaur.  The children were encouraged to use their thumb prints to make the scales of the classroom’s very own dinosaur.  Our dinosaur expert was not sure what name the children would come up for their very own prehistoric monster, but we look forward to hearing what they came up with.

Year 1 Create a Classroom Dinosaur

A colourful dinosaur created by Year 1 children

A colourful dinosaur created by Year 1 children

Picture Credit: Year 1/Everything Dinosaur

Young Rosie, amazed us when she explained all about the armoured dinosaur Ankylosaurus and Nora learned that there were some fantastic dinosaurs whose fossils have been found in Spain.

Teaching about dinosaurs in primary schools can help young minds to gain an appreciation of quite challenging concepts such as deep time, extinction,  how fossils are formed and evolution.  Looks like Navigation Primary School are helping to produce the next generation of scientists.

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