Children Draw Long-necked Dinosaurs

Time to catch up on our correspondence and to pause between dinosaur workshops and other teaching assignments in what has been a busy start to the summer term.  As part of our service to schools, the dinosaur and fossil themed workshops that we deliver often lead to lots of extension activities, all aimed at supporting the curriculum and the school’s scheme of work.  For example, during a session with Key Stage 1 children and a Reception class, a child asked why did the long-necked dinosaurs grow so big?  Our dinosaur expert provided an explanation (large gut for processing lots of coarse vegetation), as well as touching upon a couple of other relevant points.  This led on to a discussion as to what was the biggest dinosaur of all?  An opportunity to discuss the Titanosauriformes, (simplified language that is age appropriate, of course), even ones that have yet to be officially named and scientifically described.

A Typical Titanosauriform – Saltasaurus

Saltasaurus dinosaur model

“Reptile from Salta Province” – Saltasaurus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Dinosaur Themed Extension Activity

We made a note of the questions that were asked and once the dinosaur and fossil workshops had concluded for the morning, we discussed with the class teachers ways in which we could develop extension activities that relate to the topics raised by the children.  For example, we sent the children a link to an article that featured an as yet, undescribed dinosaur from Argentina that is believed to represent the biggest dinosaur known to science.  Could the children come up with a name for this dinosaur discovery?  We explained to the class teacher how this idea could be developed into a recording of data exercise whereby the class vote for their favourite dinosaur name and calibrate their results using a simple graph or table.

Using Dinosaurs to Explore How to Record and Show Data

Dinosaurs inspire graphs and data representation in schools.

Plotting dinosaur data in class.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An article on the largest dinosaur known to science: Biggest Dinosaur Needs a Name

Cross Curricular Activities

As well as supporting the numeracy element of the curriculum, our dinosaur expert set the children some “pinkie palaeontologist challenges” as we call them.  Extension ideas that involve both fiction and non-fiction writing and provide an opportunity to compare our bodies to that of a dinosaur.  A simple drawing activity involving drawing an enormous long-necked dinosaur provides a touchstone to expressive arts and design, involving children exploring and playing using a wide range of media and materials.  Encouraging young learners to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of art themed activities.

Reception-Age Children Draw a Long-necked Dinosaur (Sauropodomorpha)

Reception child draws a Sauropod.

Long-necked dinosaur by a Reception-aged child.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To request further information about Everything Dinosaur’s activities in schools including dinosaur and fossil themed workshops: Contact Everything Dinosaur – School Workshops

We encourage the class teachers to take lots of photographs during our dinosaur and fossil themed workshops.  These are great for recall and recounting activities after the session and the teaching team (with permission of the school), can always post some up onto social media such as Twitter, so parents and guardians can see what the class have been doing that day.

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