All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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Everything Dinosaur’s work with schools and other educational bodies. Articles, features and stories about dinosaurs and their role in education and educating young people.

26 01, 2018

Dinosaur Workshops at Green End Primary

By | January 26th, 2018|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

1B and 1EN Classes at Green End Primary Study Dinosaurs

It was an exciting end to the week for the children in Year 1 at Green End Primary (M19, Manchester), as the school was visited by a team member from Everything Dinosaur.  The children in 1B and 1EN have started to learn all about dinosaurs, fossils and life in the past and Everything Dinosaur was invited in to help launch this challenging term topic.  Two workshops were conducted with the enthusiastic, young dinosaur fans over the course of a morning, one for each of the classes.  During a short briefing with the teachers, our proposed lesson plan was reviewed and steps were taken to ensure that our dinosaur expert covered key points that the teaching team wanted to emphasise.  As well as acting as a provocation for the topic, the teachers were keen to reinforce learning about food chains and as Mary Anning was going to be studied in class, our dinosaur expert was able to adjust his lesson plan to accommodate this learning need.

A Beautiful Dinosaur Display in One of the Year 1 Classrooms

Year 1 dinosaur display.

Year 1 children at Green End Primary have created a wonderful dinosaur display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary

Making Salt Dough Fossils

As part of a wide range of challenging activities, the children had been making their own salt dough fossils.  These fossils were on display in the sand tray and our dinosaur expert was invited to examine the children’s work.

Children in Year 1 Make Salt Dough Fossils

Key Stage 1 children make salt dough fossils.

Salt dough fossils created by Year 1 children (class 1EN and 1B).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary

Ammonites

During the workshop, the Year 1 children were given the chance to handle some real fossils and to learn how fossils form.  The ammonite fossils proved to be very popular, especially the very large ones.  These fossils are typical of the “sea shells on the sea shore”, that Mary Anning collected.  We included a tongue twister all about Mary Anning with the additional teaching resources that our dinosaur expert provided.

As part of our work in schools, we encourage the teaching team to take lots of photographs of the children during the workshops.  These photographs are very helpful when it comes to recall and recounting activities after the workshop has been concluded.  Can the children, simply by looking at a photograph, recall key points from that part of the lesson?  We recommend the children are asked without prompting initially, teachers are often surprised by the amount of information that the children have retained.

A Dinosaur Themed Display in One of the Year 1 Classrooms

A Year 1 dinosaur display.

A horned dinosaur is at the centre of this Year 1 dinosaur display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary

One of the teachers promised to send in a picture of some of the children’s work, we look forward to seeing the results of the research conducted by the Year 1 classes.

22 01, 2018

Reception at Egerton Primary Discover Dinosaurs

By | January 22nd, 2018|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaurs and Fossils at Egerton Primary School

The children in the Reception class at Egerton Primary School, (Knutsford, Cheshire) were visited by Everything Dinosaur, with “Dinosaur Mike” delivering a dinosaur and fossil workshop to help enthuse the Foundation Stage 2 children as they learn about fossils and life in the past.  The spacious and well-appointed school hall reverberated with the sound of stomping armoured dinosaurs and ammonites catching fish.  During the workshop, our dinosaur expert set the children a special challenge, could they design their very own dinosaur and label parts of the body?

The Reception Class at Egerton Primary School Sent Dinosaur Letters and Drawings

'Reception class letters and dinosaur drawings.

Dinosaur letters and drawings from the Reception class at Egerton Primary School.

Picture Credit: Egerton Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Taking Up a Dinosaur Drawing Challenge

With the help and support of the enthusiastic teaching team, the children were keen to take up Everything Dinosaur’s challenge and sure enough, we received at our offices, a set of super prehistoric animal drawings and dinosaur themed letters from the children.

Long-necked Dinosaur Drawings from Foundation Stage 2

Long-necked dinosaur drawings from a Reception class.

Super Sauropod drawings from Egerton Primary School (Reception class).

Picture Credit: Egerton Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

As part of our proposed extension activity, we challenged the Reception class to think up suitable names for their very own dinosaur designs.  During the morning visit, our dinosaur expert met a budding, young scientist called Maya and he explained to her and her classmates that there already was a dinosaur called Maiasaura (May-ah-sore-ah).  Maya had a name very similar to a Cretaceous, plant-eating dinosaur.  When back in the office, “Dinosaur Mike” emailed over a Maiasaura fact sheet and scale drawing of Maiasaura to help inspire the children with their own dinosaur designs.

We received some beautiful drawings and some lovely labelled dinosaurs.  Several children wrote a short thank you note to our dinosaur expert.  Wonderful evidence of gaining confidence with writing along with finger spacing of words being demonstrated and some basic grammar shown too!

A Dinosaur Themed Letter Writing Exercise (Egerton Primary School – Reception Class)

Dinosaur themed letter (FS2).

A letter to “Dinosaur Mike” from Reception class children at Egerton Primary School.

Picture Credit: Egerton Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Letter Writing Exercise

A simple letter writing exercise such as the dinosaur thank you notes, can help children gain confidence and assists in the development of hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.  Our thanks to all the children and the teachers in the Reception class at Egerton Primary, we have posted some of the children’s letters and drawings onto our warehouse wall.

20 01, 2018

School Prepares for Dinosaur Workshops

By | January 20th, 2018|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Hanging Heaton Primary Prepares for Dinosaur Term Topic

Pupils and staff at Hanging Heaton CE (VC) Junior and Infant School (near Dewsbury, West Yorkshire), have been busy preparing their classrooms for the start of the special Spring Term topic – dinosaurs.  Children in class 1 and class 2, comprising the Reception and Key Stage 1 cohorts at the school, will be learning all about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals for the rest of this term.  To help kick-start the topic, Everything Dinosaur was invited into the school to provide a provocation in the form of a dinosaur workshop to help enthuse the children.

Class 1 (Reception and Year 1) Have Prepared a Palaeontology Lab Display

The FS2/Year 1 class have a palaeontology lab.

The FS2/Year 1 class have a palaeontology laboratory.

Picture Credit: Hanging Heaton CE (VC) Junior and Infant School/Everything Dinosaur

Tidy and Spacious Classrooms

Our dinosaur expert had the opportunity to see the classrooms prior to starting the morning of dinosaur and fossil themed workshops.  The classrooms were tidy and spacious and the dedicated teachers, with the support of the learning support assistants had prepared a number of display boards to showcase the children’s work as they study dinosaurs.  The children in the mixed class of Reception and Year 1 are going to have a palaeontology laboratory in the corner of their classroom.  Perhaps, some of the extension activities we proposed, such as creating a prehistoric animal might end up being put up on the display board.

Class 2 (A Mixed Year 1 and Year 2 Class) Ready for the Dinosaurs Term Topic

A Key Stage 1 term topic display board - Dinosaurs!

Year 1/2 classroom ready for the dinosaurs term topic.

Picture Credit: Hanging Heaton CE (VC) Junior and Infant School/Everything Dinosaur

For further information about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools and to request a quotation: Contact Everything Dinosaur, Request a Quotation

Questions about Dinosaurs

The children demonstrated some amazing pre-knowledge, confidently talking about the largest dinosaurs and explaining the differences between meat-eaters and plant-eaters.  They also asked lots of questions about different types of prehistoric animals.  One little boy (George), wanted to know what sort of dinosaurs hunted Styracosaurus.  Our dinosaur expert was able to explain that when Styracosaurus (a horned dinosaur), roamed North America in the Late Cretaceous, there were several types of Tyrannosaur and other predators that might have considered this very spiky reptile as dinner.

A Drawing of the Horned Dinosaur Styracosaurus (S.albertensis)

Styracosaurus illustrated.

A drawing of the horned dinosaur Styracosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Additional Resources and Activities

Prior to the two workshops, our dinosaur expert had a short meeting with the teaching lead for the term topic to ensure that learning objectives would be incorporated into the sessions.  In addition, the Everything Dinosaur team member was able to provide a number of additional teaching resources to support the school’s scheme of work, including a dinosaur footprint measuring exercise, a motor skills test linked to writing for the Reception children and a dinosaur themed geography exercise to help the Key Stage 1 children learn about the continents.

We look forward to seeing pictures of the classroom display boards filled up with examples of the children’s dinosaur and fossil themed learning.

10 01, 2018

Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland

By | January 10th, 2018|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Geology, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Review of the Fossils of Folkestone, Kent

Fossil collecting is a popular hobby and there are a number of excellent general guide books available.  However, the newly published “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” by geologist and museum curator Philip Hadland, takes a slightly different perspective.  Instead of focusing on lots of fossil collecting locations, Philip provides a comprehensive overview of just one area of the Kent coast, the beaches and cliffs surrounding the port of Folkestone.  Here is a book that delivers what its title implies, if you want to explore the Gault Clay, Lower Greensand and Chalks around Folkestone then this is the book for you.

The Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland – A Comprehensive Guide

Fossil collecting guide to the Folkestone area.

Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland and published by Siri Scientific Press and priced at £12.99 plus postage.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

A Comprehensive Overview of the Geology and the Palaeoenvironment of the Folkestone Area

The author clearly has a tremendous affection for this part of the Kent coast.  His enthusiasm is infectious and the reader is soon dipping into the various chapters, dedicated to the rock formations exposed along the cliffs and the fossil delights to be found within them.  Folkestone is probably most famous for its beautiful Gault Clay ammonites, the clay being deposited around 100 million years ago and a wide variety of these cephalopods can be found preserved in the rocks.  The book contains more than 100 full colour plates, so even the beginner fossil hunter can have a go at identifying their fossil discoveries.

Clear Colour Photographs Help with Fossil Identification

Ammonite fossils from Folkestone (Anahoplites praecox).

Anahoplites praecox fossil from Folkestone.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Surprises on the Shoreline

The book begins by explaining some of the pleasures of fossil hunting, before briefly outlining a history of fossil collecting in the Folkestone area and introducing some of the colourful characters who were prominent fossil collectors in their day.  The geology of the area is explored using terminology that the general reader can understand and follow, but academics too, will no doubt gain a lot from this publication.  Intriguingly, the Cretaceous-aged sediments were thought to have been deposited in a marine environment, however, the Lower Greensand beds have produced evidence of dinosaur footprints.  The palaeoenvironment seems to have been somewhat more complex than previously thought, the Lower Greensand preserving evidence of inter-tidal mudflats, that were once crossed by dinosaurs.  Isolated dinosaur bones have also been found in the area and the book contains some fantastic photographs of these exceptionally rare fossil discoveries.

Helping to Identify Fossil Finds

Folkestone fossils - ammonites.

Folkestone fossils – ammonites.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Prehistoric Mammals

To help with identification, the colour plates and accompanying text are organised by main animal groups.  There are detailed sections on bivalves, brachiopods, corals, crustaceans, gastropods, belemnites and ammonites.  There are plenty of photographs of vertebrate fossils too and not just fish and reptiles associated with the Mesozoic.  Pleistocene-aged deposits are found in this area and these preserve the remains of numerous exotic prehistoric animals that once called this part of Kent home.

Fossil Teeth from a Hippopotamus Which Lived in the Folkestone Area During a Warmer Inter-glacial Period

Folkestone fossils - Teeth from a Hippopotamus.

Pleistocene mammal fossils from Folkestone (Hippopotamus upper canine and molar).

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

The author comments that the presence of hippos, along with other large mammals such as elephants as proved by fossil finds, demonstrates how very different Folkestone was just 120,000 years ago.  It is likely that humans were present in the area, evidence of hominins have been found elsewhere in England and in nearby France, but as yet, no indications of human activity or a human presence in this area have been found.  Perhaps, an enthusiastic fossil hunter armed with this guide, will one day discover the fossils or archaeology that demonstrates that people were living in the area and exploiting the abundant food resources that existed.

A Partial Femur from a Large Hippopotamus Provides Testament to the Exotic Pleistocene Fauna

Folkestone fossils - partial femur from a Hippopotamus.

A partial femur (thigh bone) from a Hippopotamus.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

With a foreword by renowned palaeontologist Dean Lomax, “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” is an essential read for anyone with aspirations regarding collecting fossils on this part of the English coast.  The book, with its weather-proof cover, fits snugly into a backpack and the excellent photographs and text make fossil identification in the field really easy.

If your New Year’s resolution is to get out more to enjoy the wonders of the British countryside, to start fossil hunting, or to visit more fossil collecting locations, then the “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” by Philip Hadland would be a worthy addition to your book collection.

For further information on this book and to order a copy: Siri Scientific Press On-line

18 12, 2017

Dinosaur Workshops All Sorted for January

By | December 18th, 2017|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Lesson Plans for Dinosaur and Fossil Workshops Despatched

All the lesson plans and teaching notes relating to Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur and fossil workshops in schools have been sent out.  At this time of year, we appreciate how busy teachers and teaching assistants are, so we always make sure that the arrangements are in place for the dinosaur and fossil themed workshops scheduled for the first few weeks of January.  With the teaching assignments concluded for the autumn term, our attention turns to preparing the lesson plans, teaching resources and extension activities in readiness for the first of our dinosaur themed workshops scheduled for the first four weeks of next month.

Lesson Plans Sent Out and Arrangements Finalised

Key Stage 2 example lesson plan.

Example lesson plan (Key Stage 2).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Helping Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Planning the scheme of work for the school year takes up a significant proportion of the teaching team’s time.  The last thing we want them to worry about is any school visits.  Our prompt supply of information helps the teaching team to maximise the learning objectives and ensures what we intend to cover in our dinosaur and fossil workshop meets the needs of the children and dove-tails into the topic and the scheme of work.

Everything Dinosaur’s timely emails gives hard-pressed teachers and teaching assistants one less thing to worry about as they prepare for the start of the spring term.

In our communication with the school we provide advice and suggestions in order to help maximise the teaching objectives and to accommodate individual learning needs.  Furthermore, we suggest that a member of staff has a smart phone, camera, or Ipad on hand to take lots of photographs.  These photographs are very helpful when it comes to recall and recounting activities.  We are also happy to discuss extension ideas and normally assist with the term topic planning by providing useful additional teaching resources for the class to use.

Although much of the spring term is booked up, Everything Dinosaur does still have a few dates available.  To enquire about the possibility of a school visit from one of our dinosaur experts, simply, email the company: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Our Timely Correspondence Allows Plenty of Scope for the School to Prepare

The hall is closed for dinosaurs and fossils.

Dinosaurs and fossils in the school hall – all sorted thanks to meticulous planning.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Extension Activities

In addition to delivering the dinosaur and fossil themed workshop, our team members usually bring some additional teaching resources with them.  These resources have been developed by our own teaching team and are designed to fit in with the curriculum.   For example, for a reception class, the extension resources might include an activity that explores the properties of materials, for older Key Stage 1 children, the extension plans might involve the conducting of simple experiments.  For those children in Key Stage 2 the extension ideas could include an investigation leading to the writing of a non-chronological report.  Naturally, for Key Stage 3 and older students, the extension activities meet their learning needs and often involve independent problem solving and investigation, along with exploring some of the ethical dimensions associated with gene manipulation and the advance of genetics, as related to evolution and adaptation.

Listing Extension Ideas After a Dinosaur Workshop

Extension ideas - dinosaur workshop.

A teacher lists the extension ideas during a dinosaur workshop.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

12 12, 2017

Dinosaur Drawing and Letter

By | December 12th, 2017|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaur Drawing and Thank You Letter

Our thanks to Dionne in Year 5 who sent Everything Dinosaur a lovely thank you letter accompanied by a dinosaur drawing after we visited her school recently.  Dionne wrote to say that “today was extraordinary” and she really enjoyed holding all the fossils.

Drawing and Thank You Letter Received by Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur letter and drawing.

Dinosaur letter and drawing sent in by Dionne in Year 5.

Picture Credit: Dionne (Year 5)

Dinosaur Workshop in School

Everything Dinosaur had been invited into Dionne’s school to work with the class of Year 5 children for a morning delivering a dinosaur workshop in school.  One of a number of extension activities that arose over the course of the morning was to have the children write thank you letters to us.  We duly received an amazing bundle of letters from the children, lots of them had dinosaur drawings too.

Our thanks to all the children who sent letters into our offices, we have enjoyed reading them and we have even posted up some of the pictures on the wall of our warehouse.

15 11, 2017

Dinosaur Letters – Answering Questions

By | November 15th, 2017|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaur Letters from Streethouse Primary

Our thanks to the Year 5/6 class at Streethouse Junior, Infants and Nursery School (West Yorkshire), for sending in some super dinosaur letters and some amazingly colourful prehistoric animal posters.  We set this Key Stage 2 class a series of extension exercises (hope the children have enjoyed researching the Coelacanth), one of the extensions involved writing a thank you letter and sending them into our office.  We have received a collection of wonderful dinosaur-themed correspondence.

Dinosaur Letters Sent by Schoolchildren

Prehistoric animal themed letters.

A collection of correspondence from Year 5/6 pupils.

Picture Credit: Streethouse Junior, Infants and Nursery School

Answering Questions

Violet wanted to know if we could name a dinosaur, what would we call it?  That is a very good question, given that Violet lives in Yorkshire and that numerous dinosaur fossils have been found in that part of the world, if we were lucky enough to find a new dinosaur in northern England, we might have to name it “Yorkshiresaurus”.

Violet’s Letter

Dinosaur thank you letter.

A thank you letter from Violet.

Picture Credit: Streethouse Junior, Infants and Nursery School

Jack explained in his letter that Tyrannosaurus rex could have been a hunter as well as a scavenger.  Kelsey asked if drift wood a fossil?  Drift wood that you find on the beach is not a fossil, but if it gets buried in the sand then it can be fossilised.  At Everything Dinosaur, we have lots of fossils of plants and trees, the oldest of which are around 360 million years old.  Laura wrote to say that she enjoyed holding the fossils and learning about bones.

Archie’s Very Colourful Prehistoric Animal Drawings

Colourful dinosaurs.

We received lots of colourful dinosaurs from Year 5/6.

Picture Credit: Streethouse Junior, Infants and Nursery School

Kai wanted to know what was the fiercest dinosaur?  That, is quite a difficult question to answer.  The meat-eating dinosaurs belong to a group called the Theropoda, the big carnivores were very dangerous, but some of the smaller, carnivorous dinosaurs, if they were around today, would probably have wanted to add Year 5/6 pupils to their diet.  Perhaps the children can look up dinosaurs such as Saurornitholestes and Atrociraptor and produce a poster with lots of dinosaur facts.  Our thanks to Kaya for including a picture of a marine reptile in the thank you letter that we received.  Charlie sent us a beautiful spotted long-necked dinosaur and described the morning of activities as “awesome”, whilst Cameron enjoyed learning about Megalodon and Evie wanted us to come back and visit the class again.

Tyler and His Thank You Letter

Dinosaur letter

Stegosaurus featured in a number of the children’s letters.

Picture Credit: Streethouse Junior, Infants and Nursery School

Amazing Posters and Letters Sent in by Year 5/6

Beautiful dinosaur posters.

Amazing dinosaur posters from Year 5/6.

Picture Credit: Streethouse Junior, Infants and Nursery School

A number of the children asked what was our favourite dinosaur?  We have been recently working on a really odd dinosaur called Sciurumimus, which means “squirrel mimic” as when this dinosaur was young, it had a bushy tail just like a squirrel.

Great Writing from the Children Including this Example from Jayden

Thank you letter from Jayden.

A thank you letter from Jayden.

Picture Credit: Streethouse Junior, Infants and Nursery School

Wonderful Examples of Cursive Writing on Display

Year 5 and Year 6 children and their letters to Everything Dinosaur

Cursive writing on display from Year 5/6.

Picture Credit: Streethouse Junior, Infants and Nursery School

“Dinosaur Mike” who had visited the school to conduct the morning workshop with the class, commented:

“I want to say a big thank you to all the children in Year 5/6 at Streethouse Primary.  My colleagues and I enjoyed looking at the posters and reading the letters that were sent in.  Some wonderful hand-writing and great grammar.  Congratulations to you all!”

11 11, 2017

Why Do Asteroids Always Land in Craters? Lesson Plan Idea

By | November 11th, 2017|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Why Do Asteroids Always Land in Craters?  A Lesson Plan

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy preparing another lesson plan idea linked to the concept of “working scientifically” when it comes to delivering teaching outcomes related to the science elements of the national curriculum for England.  The lesson is aimed at both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 students and asks the question “Why do asteroids always land in craters”?

The Lesson Plan with Teaching Notes for Key Stage 1

Why do asteroids....? Lesson plan and teaching notes.

PDF download of teaching notes/lesson plan is available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Linking to the Dinosaur Extinction Event as well as Space Modules

The dinosaur extinction is linked to a large impact event, in this lesson plan our aim is to encourage the children to work scientifically, experience and observe phenomena, devise and complete simple comparative tests, communicate ideas, observe closely and to use simple equipment to find answers.  This lesson plan relates to both the “dinosaurs” and the “space” term topic.  It should also help young minds to explore everyday materials and describe the simple physical properties of those materials.  One of the factors involved in the extinction event at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs involved an extra-terrestrial object crashing into our planet, so teachers can tie in extinction and the causes of extinction to an extension activity involving the class having to work scientifically to explore what happens when objects fall to Earth.

Two types of lesson plans have been developed, the lesson plan with accompanying teaching notes aimed at Upper Key Stage 2 deals with issues such as animals and their habitats, natural selection, evolution and introduces the idea of the force of gravity.

Essentially, to test this idea of asteroids always landing in craters, the children would have to develop an experiment whereby they drop objects into a substrate and record what happens.

Suggested Resources to be Used to Test the Hypothesis

"Why do asteroids always land in craters?" Suggested resources.

Resources suggested for the “why do asteroids always land in craters?” A lesson plan.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Suggested Resources for the Key Stage 1 Lesson Plan

Here is a list of typical resources suggested to test the idea of asteroids always landing in craters with a Key Stage 1 class.  Essentially, the children need to consider a suitable substrate and to test what happens when objects are dropped into the substrate.

* Tray
* Flour or sand (substrate)
* Objects of various sizes, shapes and weight
* Table covers/newspaper
* Ruler for measuring (optional)
* Paper for making notes (optional)
* Camera to record experiment results (optional)

Outlining the Lesson with the Class

Whilst exploring with the class the idea that the non-avian dinosaurs no longer exist, seek an unprompted definition of the word “extinction”.  Can the class demonstrate further pre-knowledge by explaining about how the dinosaurs died out?  If needed, explain about the space rock impact idea and challenge the children to work out whether asteroids always land in craters or does the impact create the crater?

Can the Children Create Simple Comparative Tests?

Testing the impact of different objects in flour - asteroid impact modellling.

Different objects landing in flour, modelling asteroid impacts.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Extension Ideas – Questions to Ask

What sort of craters do the different objects make?
What makes the larger crater a big object or a small object?
Which makes the deeper crater a heavy object or a light object?
What sort of craters do different shaped objects make?
Does it make a difference if you vary the height from which you drop the objects?
Can the children make a prediction about the size/shape/depth of the crater depending on the object dropped?

In addition, the Key Stage 2 lesson plan and teaching notes asks the class to devise their own experiments to answer the asteroid/always in a crater question.

As a “wow” moment to conclude the lesson plan, try this idea.  Working outside, what happens when a really big object such as a football is dropped into a bucket of flour?  The spraying of flour should provide a suitable memorable moment to help the class remember the key learning points from this simple experiment.

For further advice and ideas about science teaching in school, visit Everything Dinosaur’s “dinosaurs for schools” website: Dinosaurs for Schools

9 11, 2017

Streethouse Primary Study Dinosaurs

By | November 9th, 2017|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Barbara Hepworth Class (Year 5/6) Focus on Dinosaurs

Another busy week at Everything Dinosaur, with several school visits and projects successfully completed.  Take for example, a recent visit to Year 5/6 at Streethouse Primary in Yorkshire, to provide a provocation for this Key Stage 2 class as they begin their dinosaur and fossil themed topic.  The varied and enriched scheme of work devised by the enthusiastic teaching team will run until the end of this term and Everything Dinosaur was invited to the school to provide a morning of dinosaur and fossil themed activities for the class.

The walls of the tidy and well-organised classroom already featured a number of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed displays.

Posting Up Information About Life in the Past (Upper Key Stage 2)

A dinosaur themed display board.

A colourful dinosaur themed display board.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Barbara Hepworth Class

Year 5/6 at Streethouse Primary are in Barbara Hepworth class, we are confident that this English 20th Century sculptress would be most impressed with the clay prehistoric animal models the children had created.  One of the benefits of a dinosaur themed topic is that it lends itself to all sorts of cross-curricular activities, the children eagerly discussed their models and there were certainly some skilfully crafted replicas on display, even winged dinosaurs!

Barbara Hepworth Class Produce Prehistoric Animal Clay Models

Schoolchildren make clay models of dinosaurs.

Year 5/6 children make clay model dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Answering Questions About Dinosaurs

Prior to the workshop, the children had prepared several questions about prehistoric animals, some of these questions along with answers researched by the children had been posted up around the classroom.  The Everything Dinosaur workshop leader incorporated a number of questions into the morning of activities helping to support the children’s learning.

Year 5/6 Compile Questions About Life in the Past

How did birds evolve from extinct dinosaurs?

How did birds evolve if the dinosaurs all got wiped out?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The above question links in nicely to some of the science curriculum areas associated with Year 6, fortunately, our dinosaur expert had brought plenty of resources with him to help the class explore in a little more detail the evolutionary relationship between avian and non-avian dinosaurs (birds and dinosaurs).

Why Does Tyrannosaurus rex Have Tiny Arms?

Another question, this time, raised by the class teacher, asked why does T. rex have tiny arms compared to the rest of its body?  That’s a very challenging question, that ironically had just been covered in a recent presentation delivered to the annual conference of the Geological Society of America.  A cast of a T. rex manual ungual (claw bone) came in handy to help explain that this latest theory suggests that the short arms of Tyrannosaurus rex were very effective weapons for slashing prey at close quarters.

Why does Tyrannosaurus rex have small arms.

Why does T. rex have tiny arms compared to the rest of his body?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To see our recent article on the “slashing T. rex” idea: Tiny T. rex Arms Built for Slashing Prey

All to soon, our morning of dinosaur and fossil themed activities came to an end.  However, there was still time to set a couple of extension exercises for the class and to admire the partially complete “Jurassic landscape” that the children had been making.  The class will be using ModRoc (plaster of Paris modelling materials), to create a prehistoric scene, all helping to reinforce learning about animals and their habitats.  We use similar materials when protecting fossils in the field prior to their full removal.  We look forward to seeing the finished dinosaur diorama.

Barbara Hepworth Class are Creating a Prehistoric Landscape

Key Stage 2 build a prehistoric landscape.

Making a prehistoric landscape.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To the conclude the morning, the children sang a song all about being a palaeontologist, they even managed to pronounce the word “Pachycephalosaurus” correctly – well done to all!

3 11, 2017

Squirrels and Hedgehogs Study Dinosaurs

By | November 3rd, 2017|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Year 1 Learn About Dinosaurs, Fossils and Mary Anning

It was a busy morning for the Year 1 children in Squirrels and Hedgehogs classes at Stanwell Fields C of E Primary as they explored dinosaurs and fossils as part of a term topic all about prehistoric animals and life in the past.  The dedicated and enthusiastic teaching team had put together a challenging and varied scheme of work and a visit from Everything Dinosaur was included to provide a provocation and help kick-start the learning by having a special “wow day” for the children.

The classes had covered simple food webs in a previous topic and the teachers and the Learning Support Assistants were keen to reinforce learning about the differences between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.  In the colourful classroom, a three-dimensional dinosaur had been made, providing an appropriate centrepiece for the children’s work as they explored “Planet Dinosaur”.

A Carnivorous Dinosaur on Display

A 3-D dinosaur on display.

A three-dimensional dinosaur on display in the Year 1 classroom.

Picture Credit: Year 1 Stanwell Fields C of E Primary

Learning About Mary Anning

Within the history area of the national curriculum, (programmes of study for Key Stages 1 and 2), pupils are encouraged to learn about the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.  Mary Anning, provides a very good role model, especially for girls, when it comes to learning about pioneering fossil hunters.  The story of Mary Anning and the “sea shells on the sea shore”, provides lots of cross-curricular links and one of the teaching team at Stanwell Fields C of E Primary, even dressed up as Mary Anning at the start of the term topic.  During our workshop, we discussed this famous Dorset fossil hunter and the children were keen to demonstrate their knowledge.  The various fossils we spotted in the rocks and minerals box in the well-maintained and orderly resources room will provide extra stimulus for the eager young palaeontologists.  The Everything Dinosaur team member supplied lots of additional learning materials and we have produced a number of lesson plans and data sheets for teachers that feature Mary Anning.

Famous Fossil Hunter Mary Anning

Mary Anning Poster

Mary Anning makes an excellent role model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

With the school hall occupied, the dinosaurs and fossils were confined to a classroom for the duration of the morning.  However, with the partition doors open, there  was plenty of space and this gave our team member the opportunity to admire the various displays on the walls and hanging from the ceiling.  The well-appointed and tidy classroom was a credit to the school.

Ready to Start Moving Tables Prior to the Dinosaur and Fossil Workshop

A spacious Year 1 classroom.

Spacious classroom being made ready for a dinosaur workshop.

Picture Credit: Year 1 Stanwell Fields C of E Primary

Synonyms and Antonyms

As part of the children’s vocabulary development, the teaching staff had been covering the use of synonyms (words that have the same meaning) and antonyms (words that have the opposite meaning).  When it came to challenging the children to describe the ammonite fossils, our workshop leader encouraged the children to provide a synonym for the word “big”.  There were lots of suggestions, “huge”, “massive” and “gigantic” being readily offered up by the eager, young palaeontologists.

All too soon, the morning of activities with the two classes had to be concluded as it was time for lunch.  However, once the tables had been put back in their place there was still time to hear about the lesson plan for the afternoon that had been prepared – making salt dough fossils.  Our dinosaur expert suggested that the children could roll up the dough creating spirals and make their own ammonites.

One thing is for sure, the children in Year 1 at Stanwell Fields C of E Primary have an exciting and enriching term topic to look forward to completing.

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