Jupiter and Saturn Classes Study Dinosaurs
It certainly was a “dinotastic” day for children in Jupiter and Saturn classes at Weston Rhyn Primary, as these two classes spent the day learning all about prehistoric animals and fossils. In a morning of dinosaur themed activities, the Year5/6 class (Jupiter), learned that sometimes animals believed extinct prove to be very much still with us, a little bit of homework for Mrs Jones (teaching assistant), as she was challenged to conduct some research into Coelacanths. In addition, under the enthusiastic tutelage of the class’s teaching team the children had created a Mesozoic timeline listing all the geological periods that make up the so called “Age of Dinosaurs”. This gave our dinosaur expert an opportunity to check understanding and also allowed him to furnish the class teacher with some fact sheets to help populate the timeline with various well-known dinosaurs. The budding young palaeontologists had a go at fossil casting as well as exploring the link between dinosaurs and birds. Some of the children have chickens at home (one pupil even had quails). Could they take a photograph of the bird’s feet – ample evidence here of the link between our feathered friends and meat-eating dinosaurs.
Plenty of Evidence of a Rich and Varied Teaching Programme in Key Stage 2
Picture Credit: Weston Rhyn Primary School/Everything Dinosaur
The fossil handling activities proved very popular and the Year 5/6 children were given the opportunity to work scientifically, investigating a strange fossil found at the bottom of a coal mine in Illinois (United States of America).
Saturn Class Get Busy with Dinosaur Research
In the afternoon, it was the turn of Saturn class and the children grappled enthusiastically with the problem of what to call a new dinosaur species. We used a real life example to demonstrate some of the pitfalls when it comes to naming a new dinosaur, especially one with “big thighs”. Not wishing to see Mrs Owen (teaching assistant), left out, our dinosaur expert asked her to find out about Sir Richard Owen, the English anatomist and scientist who was given the task of coming up with a name to describe what we now know as the Dinosauria. Perhaps, Mrs Owen might even be distantly related to Sir Richard, we sent over some links and further information about the founder of the Natural History Museum (London) and asked the children could they design their very own blue plaque like the one erected at Sir Richard’s old school in Lancaster?
All in all, it was a very busy day for our team member. There were lots of questions from the children, he did his best to answer them all. Even the tricky ones about how Velociraptor is wrongly portrayed in movies. Once back in the office, there was just time to email over the promised extension plans and further teaching resources to help the school’s term topic before moving onto the next dinosaur teaching assignment. The resources and additional information should help enrich the children’s learning experience and who knows, Weston Rhyn Primary might just produce some famous scientists in the future, perhaps some who will go on to be as famous as Sir Richard Owen!