Category: Educational Activities

Dinosaurs – Science Topic

Year 1 and Reception Enjoy Learning About Dinosaurs

Children at Hambleton C of E Primary School had an exciting day learning all about dinosaurs and fossils as one of our dinosaur experts visited their school.  Year 1 have been studying dinosaurs for their science topic this term and the budding young palaeontologists had prepared a list of questions.  Answers were provided during the dinosaur workshop.  Questions asked included how did the dinosaurs become extinct?  What colour were dinosaurs?  Which was the biggest dinosaur of all?

Year 1 Had Prepared Questions all About Dinosaurs

Preparing questions about dinosaurs.

Preparing questions about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Hambleton C of E Primary/Everything Dinosaur

The children wanted to know all about Tyrannosaurus rex, Finlay asked how long did T. rex live for?  That’s an excellent question and one that was that not answered during the morning of dinosaur and fossil themed activities.  Like most animals, few Tyrannosaurs made it into adulthood.  Predation, disease, parasites, starvation and injuries would have all placed a heavy toll on a given population of these meat-eating, Theropods.  However, if a T. rex did survive into adulthood, then we estimate that it might have lived for some thirty years or so.  Calculating just how long a Tyrannosaurus rex lived is quite a tricky task, however, a number of studies have been published looking into the growth rates and potential life spans of the Dinosauria.

Here is a link to an article we published a few years ago that compared the growth rates of Tyrannosaurs and their potential prey (duck-billed dinosaurs): Duck-Billed Dinosaurs Grew Up Fast to Avoid Being Eaten

We certainly had some amazing questions from the Year 1 children.

Reception Has a Dinosaur Day

The enthusiastic prehistoric animal fans in Reception class had a dinosaur day to coincide with Everything Dinosaur’s visit.  Mrs Parkin and Mrs Bingham had prepared lots of themed activities and some of the children had brought in dinosaur toys from home. Whilst the Reception class waited for a “dinosaur egg” to hatch they set about building their very own prehistoric playground for the dinosaurs.  Our expert was shown where the dinosaurs could hide in the cave and where the river was so that the dinosaurs could have a drink and go for a swim if they wanted to.  It was great to see such imaginative, creative play.  The children were certainly engaged with the topic.

Reception Class Build a Playground for their Dinosaurs

A habitat for dinosaurs.

A habitat for dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Hambleton C of E Primary/Everything Dinosaur

We explored some of the vocabulary associated with animals and what they ate.  In addition, whilst building the dinosaur habitat, the children were learning about the resources that living things require to keep them alive.  One of the favourite parts of the dinosaur workshop was when the children got the chance to engage in role play, reproducing behaviours and pretending to be huge, herbivores.

Class Two Study Dinosaurs

Learning All About Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals with Class Two

A very busy morning with the Year 2 class at St Malachy’s R.C. Primary who have been studying dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.  The children had been learning all about when the dinosaurs lived, where they lived and how they became extinct.  Miss Butterfield and Mrs Parker had been teaching the children all about continents and countries and a most impressive map had been created which showed where in the world some dinosaurs lived.

Mapping the Dinosaurs

Where did dinosaurs live?

Where did dinosaurs live?

Picture Credit: Class 2

Can you spot a spelling mistake?  We wonder if any of the children have spotted the mistake, we think this is the teacher’s very clever way of encouraging the children to be observant.

As part of the ICT element of the curriculum for the spring term, the children had been making some dinosaur posters and learning how to copy and paste material from the internet.  Some lovely examples of posters were on display on the classroom wall and outside in the corridor.  They certainly brightened up the corridor.  Our dinosaur expert set the class some challenges, one of which was to come up with some science posters based on the information provided.  In addition, the children demonstrated their use of adjectives and we had some wonderful examples, especially when it came to describing the fossil teeth.

To cater for the design/technology (DT) and art elements of the curriculum, teacher Miss Butterfield, aided by Mrs Parker (teaching assistant) had been helping the children to design and create different prehistoric animal models, including a super sculpture of a fearsome Velociraptor.

A Wonderful Sculpture of a Velociraptor

On guard in the classroom.

On guard in the classroom.

Picture Credit: Class 2

The children had to think carefully about which materials to choose and they had been challenged to use different media to create their prehistoric animal pictures.  We saw some lovely examples of artwork including a dinosaur called “Spike-0-saurus”, a very spiky dinosaur, hence his name.

Making Dinosaur Models and Artwork Using Different Resources

Lots of colourful prehistoric animals on display.

Lots of colourful prehistoric animals on display.

Picture Credit: Class 2

So many different types of dinosaur model had been made that some had even been put on display outside in the corridor.  It made our dinosaur expert feel very happy as he passed lots of models of Stegosaurs on his way to the classroom.  The children compared parts of their bodies to the bodies of dinosaurs, some of the bones and casts that the children saw helped them to appreciate just how big some dinosaurs were.   It looks like Class 2 are having fun learning all about palaeontologists and life in the past.

“Moles” at College Town Infant and Nursery School Write About Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs Helping Children Develop Their Writing Skills

Encouraging Year 1 children with their writing was one of the learning objectives that the dinosaur expert from Everything Dinosaur set out to achieve during a visit to College Town Infant and Nursery School last week.  The children were certainly very enthusiastic and keen to learn lots of facts about prehistoric animals.  There were some excellent describing words used when it came to handling the various fossils and a number of “pinkie palaeontologist challenges” were set for the classes.  The school has a three form entry for Year 1 children, the classes are called “Rabbit”, “Hedgehog” and “Mole”, Miss Tuck (teacher), asked her “Mole” class to write a thank you letter as part of the extension ideas that had been discussed.

One of the Thank You Letters from the “Moles” in Mole Class

Super thank you letter.

Super thank you letter.

Picture Credit: College Town Infant and Nursery School/Everything Dinosaur

Good use of capitals, very well spaced and formed letters, what a lovely thank you letter.  Well done Pavan.

Vinzen’s Fantastic Letter

Vinzen's fantastic dinosaur themed letter.

Vinzen’s fantastic dinosaur themed letter.

Picture Credit: College Town Infant and Nursery School/Everything Dinosaur

Miss Tuck was obviously very impressed by the thank you letters that the children composed.  Our team members have certainly enjoyed reading them.

Esther’s Thank You Letter

A great thank you letter from Esther.

A great thank you letter from Esther.

Picture Credit: College Town Infant and Nursery School/Everything Dinosaur

Well done, Esther and her classmates, lots of carefully written letters with good use of punctuation.  Good examples of use of adjectives to describe the activities that the children took part in.

Our dinosaur expert set a number of writing challenges for the children.  Fact sheets and scale drawings were emailed over to help inspire the children.  It looks like the visit has really helped and “Dinosaur Mike”, one of our team members commented:

“It was wonderful to see the letters written by the children, I have shown them to my colleagues and pinned up some of them onto our display wall in the warehouse.  These are wonderful examples and all the children in Moles class can be proud of what they have done”.

Answering Questions from a Young Dinosaur Fans

Answering Questions Sent in Over Christmas

Over the last few days we have been catching up with our correspondence and one of the tasks is to answer all the questions sent in by young dinosaur fans.  We have had a larger number of questions to handle than in previous years, but we are just about on top of the job.  Our thanks to Owen, Jacob, Simon, Theodore, Claire and Steven for sending in this selection of questions.

How many fingers did Tyrannosaurus rex have?

T. rex has two fingers on each hand.  These dinosaurs evolved from dinosaurs that had three fingers on their hands.  In some Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid dinosaur fossils a vestigial third finger can be made out.

Was Rajasaurus a powerful dinosaur?

Rajasaurus (the name means “Prince Lizard”) was a member of the abelisaurid group of meat-eating dinosaurs.  The fossils of this dinosaur have been found in Upper Cretaceous rocks of India.  At around eleven metres in length and weighing an estimated 3-4 tonnes this was a indeed a powerful and fearsome hunter.  Living at the same time as Rajasaurus was a second, slightly smaller and more lightly built abelisaurid.  This dinosaur has been named Indosuchus.  It has been suggested that these two predators did not compete for food, Indosuchus tackling smaller animals and the larger Rajasaurus specialising in attacking the really big herbivores such as Titanosaurs.

A Scale Drawing of Rajasaurus

Probably an apex predator in its environment.

Probably an apex predator in its environment.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

There is now strong evidence that these predatory dinosaurs also lived in Europe during the Late Cretaceous.  To read an article about the discovery of an abelisaurid from France: New French abelisaurid Named after Road Builder

Where have fossils of Liliensternus been found?

Fossils of this Late Triassic carnivorous dinosaur have been found in Germany and France.

What were the top five biggest meat-eating dinosaurs?  What were the largest carnivorous dinosaurs called?

This is difficult to say as a number of the very large, carnivorous dinosaurs are known from fragmentary or partial remains.  Some of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs known include Giganotosaurus, Allosaurus fragilis, Saurophaganax, Spinosaurus, Acrocanthosaurus, Torvosaurus gurneyi, Tyrannosaurus rex, Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, Tarbosaurus, Sauroniops pachytholus, Tyrannotitan, Mapusaurus, Zhuchengtyrannus magus.

You can find out more information about these dinosaurs by searching through the articles on this web log or perhaps by looking at dinosaur books.

Was Compsognathus the fastest dinosaur?

Compsognathus was regarded as the smallest dinosaur known for a number of years, but fossil finds in the late 20th Century led to the describing of a number of new species of smaller dinosaurs.  Compsognathus was certainly a swift runner and quite agile and in a study by Manchester University scientists, which compared the velocities of a number of dinosaurs, as well as humans and some flightless birds, Compsognathus came out as the faster sprinter.

To read the article and see the performance table: Could T. rex Run Faster than David Beckham?

However, a number ornithomimid dinosaurs (ostrich mimics), with their longer legs and bigger stride length could probably run faster, certainly in a straight line when compared to the diminutive Compsognathus.  It has been estimated that a dinosaur like Sinornithomimus could have sprinted at over 40 miles per hour.

How big was the horned dinosaur Albertoceratops?

Size estimates vary, but this horned dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of North America was probably around five to six metres in length when fully grown.

Was Mapusaurus a strong dinosaur?

Muscle mass of a dinosaur is difficult to calculate, however, the size and position of key muscle groups can be studied by looking at the scars which indicate areas of muscle attachment on fossil bone.  Mapusaurus (M. roseae) was certainly a large predator.  There is some evidence to suggest that these animals hunted in packs.  The short arms were quite strong, but the hind legs were very powerful indeed.  It has been estimated that this dinosaur could run at speeds approaching 25 miles per hour, perhaps as fast as 30 miles per hour.

To read an article in which Mapusaurus is compared with Tyrannosaurus rexWas Mapusaurus as Big as T. rex?

 What was the smallest dinosaur?  Was the smallest dinosaur Bambiraptor?

A number of recent fossil discoveries has enabled scientists to reconsider which was the smallest dinosaur.  For a long time Mussaurus was thought to be the smallest dinosaur, however, the fossil upon which this claim had been made was actually a baby and as a Prosauropod, Mussaurus probably grew to more than three metres in length.  Several different types of dinosaur are believed to have been less than a metre long, perhaps weighing less than four kilogrammes.  Bambiraptor was around a metre in length, although the holotype material probably represents a juvenile.  The tiny, feathered Theropod from Mongolia known as Shuvuuia has been estimated to have been just sixty centimetres long.  Both Microraptor and Micropachycephalosaurus were extremely small, with estimates for the size of Microraptor at around seventy centimetres and weighing perhaps no more than two kilogrammes.

In 2011, Everything Dinosaur wrote an article all about the “Ashdown Maniraptoran” this is the smallest dinosaur known from Europe, it was about the size of a magpie.

To read the article: The Smallest European Dinosaur

The current title holder of the “smallest dinosaur known to science” is Fruitadens (F. haagarorum).  It may have reached lengths of around forty centimetres, more than half of its body length was made up of its tail.  It weighed as much as two bags of sugar, around 1-2 kilogrammes. The fossils of this tiny dinosaur were found in Colorado.  It is a bird-hipped dinosaur, most probably a plant-eater but it may also have eaten insects.

A Scale Drawing of Fruitadens (Fruitadens haagarorum)

An illustration of perhaps the smallest dinosaur known Fruitadens.

An illustration of perhaps the smallest dinosaur known Fruitadens.

Picture Credit: D. Trankina/NHMLAC

Which was the more powerful dinosaur Allosaurus or Suchomimus?

These are two very different Theropod dinosaurs making comparisons a bit difficult.  Allosaurus fragilis for example, lived during the Late Jurassic, whilst Suchomimus fossils have been found associated with Cretaceous strata at least thirty million years older.  Suchomimus fossils were found in Niger (Africa), whereas Allosaurus fragilis fossils come from the western United States.  In terms of size, Allosaurus may have been slightly bigger at around twelve metres and Allosaurus probably specialised in hunting and eating other dinosaurs, whilst Suchomimus being a member of the Spinosauridae family was probably primarily a fish-eater.  Suchomimus did have stronger arms and shoulders than Allosaurus (most likely).

Where were the fossils of Barosaurus found?  Did the dinosaur called Barosaurus exist?

Barosaurus, the name means “heavy lizard” and the name is pronounced Bah-row-sore-us, was a Sauropod that lived in the Late Jurassic.  It was a member of the diplodocid dinosaur family and its fossils have been found in the western United States (South Dakota, as well as possibly Utah and Wyoming).  It may have reached lengths in excess of 27 metres and weighed as much as 20 tonnes.  Its fossils are relatively rare and when compared to the better known Diplodocus genus, Barosaurus had a longer neck but a shorter tail.  It has been suggested that Barosaurus was a browser of tall trees and the fossils found are associated with wetter parts of what is now known as the Morrison Formation.  A wetter habitat could have allowed the trees to grow taller, ideal for a long-necked Barosaurus to browse upon.

Thank you for all the questions sent in to us, we shall continue to work hard and answer them as best as we can.

Teaching Resources from Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur Supplies Teaching Resources to Schools

In celebration of all the exciting, educational resources that Everything Dinosaur supplies to schools and museums the company has introduced a new banner for the website.  The banner showcases the range of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed resources that are supplied to schools, whether EYFS (early years foundation stage) or even Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Prehistoric Animal Themed Teaching Resources for Schools and Museums

Fossils, books, puzzles and games for schools.

Fossils, books, puzzles and games for schools.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson for the Cheshire based company explained:

“We are supplying more and more items into schools and museums these days.  Whether it is small dinosaur models for sorting or counting games, books or museum quality replicas we have seen demand for these items grow.  We even have received requests for real dinosaur fossils.  Happy to show school children fossils in our collection and we do supply a range of inexpensive fossils, including sharks teeth, but we would draw the line at supplying dinosaur fossils.”

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of prehistoric animal learning resources: Learning and Teaching Resources

Bringing the Cambrian To Life

Providing Information on Cambrian Critters

The Cambrian lasted for over fifty million years and in the latter part of this period in Earth’s geological history there was a huge increase in marine animal diversity.  The evolution of so many new forms of life is often referred to as the “Cambrian explosion” and thanks to localities such as British Columbia’s Burgess Shale and the amazing fossils from Chenjiang in China, palaeontologists have been able to build up a remarkably detailed picture of the fauna that flourished in the oceans of the world, during a time when our planet looked very different from today.

Thanks to the beautifully preserved fossils, scientists have been able to piece together marine ecosystems and to study the organisms the evolved in what is often regarded as the first truly significant evolutionary event in the history of life on Earth.  Those clever people at Safari Ltd produced a set of replicas of ancient creatures that represent typical examples of the Cambrian biota.  Entitled “Cambrian Life” the set includes eight models representing ancestral sponges, marine worms and, perhaps most significantly of all the Arthropoda, that huge phylum that includes the crustaceans, trilobites, spiders and insects.

The Cambrian Life Toob

Examples of the Cambrian biota.

Examples of the Cambrian biota.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The eight models are very colourful and are great teaching aids.  Trouble is, there are no data sheets on these bizarre organisms included in this model set.

The other day Everything Dinosaur received an email from a customer, it read:

“Thank you for sending my order.  I wrapped the presents up and gave them to my friend’s son for Xmas.  He was delighted with them but in the Cambrian tube there was not a description leaflet as there was in the Prehistoric Crocodile tube.   Would it please be possible to send out the Cambrian Leaflet.  Many thanks.”

One of our team members wrote back and explained that there was no description leaflet made for the Cambrian Life Toob, however, we decided to do something about this ourselves.  We are much happier when it comes to researching vertebrates but over a morning we were able to produce four data cards.  Each card features two of the prehistoric critters in the set, we have tried to provide a little more information, such as size, fossil finds and which type of animals the creature represented by the replica might be ancestral to.

A Cambrian Life Toob Data Card Made by Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur provides information on models in the Cambrian Life Toob

Everything Dinosaur provides information on models in the Cambrian Life Toob

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We would not claim to be experts on Cambrian fauna, however, the models are so well made and great for school projects so we thought we would do our bit to help.

To see the range of Safari Ltd’s excellent prehistoric animal models: Prehistoric Animal Models and Toobs

We were able to email this information to the customer.  They were delighted with our customer service.

A strange “short-necked” Hupehsuchian Bounces Back

Evidence of Recovery after End Permian Extinction Event

A very strange member of a little known group of ancient marine reptiles has been formally described by a joint team of American and Chinese scientists.  The new genus described as “platypus-like” is a Hupehsuchian, part of a group of Early Triassic diapsid reptiles, that may have been ancestral to the much better known Ichthyosaurs.  The fossil has been named Eohupehsuchus brevicollis, the name means “early short-necked crocodile of Hubei Province” and it was excavated from strata laid down around 248 million years ago (Olenikian faunal stage), as the world recovered from the “Great Permian Dying”, a mass extinction event that is believed to have wiped out around 95% of all the species on the planet.

Fossils associated with Hupehsuchia have been found in two counties within Hubei Province (eastern, central China).  The Order Hupehsuchia was named after the alternative name for Hubei Province (hupeh), E. brevicollis is unlike any other known member of the Hupehsuchia as it possessed a short neck, with only six cervical vertebrae.  Other Hupehsuchians had much longer necks, with at least ten neck bones.  The forty centimetre long specimen is believed to represent an adult animal, it is somewhat smaller than the better known Nanchangosaurus (fossils dated from the Middle Triassic) and it lacked teeth.  Analysis of the skull and jaws indicate that this little reptile probably had a beak like a duck (hence the platypus analogy), it paddled its way through the shallow sea using its strong limbs.  The bones are thickened and heavy, indicating some adaptation to a marine environment.  Heavy bones would have helped these animals dive, although it did possess extensive dermal armour, perhaps a remnant of its terrestrial ancestry.  Scientists are unsure as to whether the extensive armoured scales evolved in the Hupehsuchia after they adapted to a marine existence or whether these tough scales evolved in this group’s reptile ancestors, which lived on land.

The Fossilised Remains of E. brevicollis

The holotype material for E. brevicollis.

The holotype material for E. brevicollis.

Picture Credit: PLOS One

One of the lead authors of the scientific paper, published this week in the on line journal PLOS One, Professor Ryosuke Motani (University of California Davis), commented:

“Although it’s a very different animal, it had a skull and beak like a duck without teeth, a very heavily built body with thick bones and paddles to swim through the water.  The details are different, but the general body design looks similar to a platypus.”

With at least four genera identified as Hupehsuchia, researchers are beginning to piece together how marine ecosystems recovered after the Permian mass extinction.  Intriguingly, this specimen indicates that there were most probably large vertebrate predators in the habitat 248 million years ago.  The left forelimb is incomplete, with several bones missing and those present are broken. This has been interpreted as a bite from a larger predator that could only have occurred pre-burial.  This little reptile may have been attacked by a predator and escaped only to perish and to be buried a short while after.

This fossil find adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests a rapid radiation and diversification of vertebrates after the mass extinction event.

The University of California researchers have been prominent in the research into Lower Triassic marine reptiles from China.  Back in November, Everything Dinosaur published an article on a fossil of a basal Ichthyosaur that had been studied by this team.  Unlike, Eohupehsuchus which comes from Hubei Province, the basal Ichthyosaur fossil was found in the neighbouring province of Anhui (to the east of Hubei Province).

To read more about the Anhui basal Ichthyosaur: Tracing the Origins of the Ichthyosaurs

Preparing for Teaching Assignments (January 2015)

Dinosaur Workshops Scheduled for January 2015

Everything Dinosaur team members have a very busy teaching itinerary planned for the first part of the Spring Term (January to end February 2015).  Our dinosaur experts will be conducting dinosaur themed workshops (and fossil workshops too), with school children ranging from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), up to Key Stage 3.  As teachers are very busy with Christmas preparations and with most of the schools now closed, we have already forwarded on finalised lesson plans to most educational establishments to ensure that our work in the first couple of weeks of next term can dovetail smoothly into the teaching schedule.

It is Going to be a Very Busy Spring Term for Everything Dinosaur

Teaching tips, articles, resources and free downloads.

Teaching tips, articles, resources and free downloads.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

After the Christmas break we shall be back in the warehouse sorting out all the fossils and other teaching resources that will be required for the first of our teaching assignments as well as cataloguing more fossils and looking at even more resources that we can provide for schools.  Although, we have not found a volunteer amongst us yet prepared to dress up as Mary Anning.

Everything Dinosaur and the Company’s Outreach Work

Helping to promote science for girls by dressing up as Mary Anning.

Helping to promote science for girls by dressing up as Mary Anning.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To learn more about Everything Dinosaur’s unique work with schools, museums and other institutions: Everything Dinosaur Educational Activities

Information about “Sophie” the Stegosaurus thanks to Milan and Alisha

Young Dinosaur Fans Showcase their Dinosaur Knowledge and IT Skills

A few days ago we challenged the son of one of our customers to produce an article on the arrival of the new Stegosaurus exhibit at the Natural History Museum (London).  Although, Stegosaurus is one of the most recognisable of all the dinosaurs, with its strange plates on the back and its spiked tail, referred to as a “thagomiser”, very little research on this genus of Late Jurassic dinosaur has been carried out in recent years.  We suggested that young Milan should write a report on this Stegosaurus, his sister Alisha (aged 11), also joined in and produced a wonderful powerpoint slideshow containing lots of dinosaur facts and figures.

“Sophie” the Stegosaurus on Display

Milan used this picture to illustrate his dinosaur documentary.

Milan used this picture to illustrate his dinosaur documentary.

Picture Courtesy of the Natural History Museum and chosen by Milan

 Here is Milan’s documented notes on the subject of Stegosaurs:

Sophie The Stegosaurus – Documentary 2014 – 2015

Sophie the Stegosaurus was found in Wyoming, USA on its own.  The weight of the animal is around 1 ton.  Sophie the Stegosaurus would have eaten things like ferns and horsetails.  The  habitat where the animal may have lived could be rocky plain ground with lakes around it, this way they would have food and water when they most needed it.  They may not have traveled very far from their homes to eat too.  Sophie  may have lived and walked though the forests, or even  green canyon.  The plain surroundings where the  Stegosaurus may also have walked and lived in, would and could have been filled with  rocky mini towers or marshlands  (just like how it was shown on “Planet Dinosaur”).  Stegosaurs may have lived in large number groups like a herd.  This could be because groups made them feel safe.  Also, when they are eating some of them could keep an eye out for predators.  Stegosaurs lived as a herd and they grazed in small numbers too.  Sophie the Stegosaurus had 19 plates that grew on its back and scientists believe that Sophie did have built-in defence, which was all along the back, in the shape of the large plates.  The plates on the back may have been used as balance,  and also they may have another propose which is very clever.  When the animal feels like it is in danger or it needs to show that it’s the boss, the animal can change the colour of the plates by simply flushing its blood into the plates, which then changes colour to scare the predators off, this could be a small predator  or even one as big as an Allosaurus.

The Stegosaurus walked the earth around 150 million years ago – this was the Jurassic age.  Looking at the animal more closely you can see that it has two large sharp spikes on  either side of its tail.  These spikes where used to slam and hurt predators that got to close to them.  Time to time they also used these spikes to hurt each other.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Thank you Milan, for sending us your Stegosaurus information, we enjoyed reading all about Sophie the Stegosaurus.  We really appreciate the information that you sent us on this American dinosaur.”

Alisha Makes a Dinosaur Themed Powerpoint Presentation (The First Slide)

Dinosaur Facts Book by Alisha

Dinosaur Facts Book by Alisha

Powerpoint presentation by Alisha

The powerpoint slide created by Alisha contains twelve, carefully crafted slides, Everything Dinosaur team members enjoyed viewing Alisha’s presentation.

Size Comparisons of Long-Necked Dinosaurs by Alisha

The size of huge Sauropods.

The size of huge Sauropods.

Powerpoint presentation by Alisha

To conclude her excellent powerpoint presentation, Alisha compiled a short quiz (fortunately she did include the answers).

One of the Dinosaur Themed Questions

Dinosaur themed quiz questions.

Dinosaur themed quiz questions.

Powerpoint presentation by Alisha

Proud dad, Neil explained:

“She created the whole presentation, by herself without any adult help or supervision and I was really impressed by what she had created – she taught me how to do a few things too!”

Clearly with Milan’s dinosaur knowledge and Alisha’s presentation skills, if the media team at the Natural History Museum ever need any help they will know who to turn to.

Concluding his article on “Sophie” the Stegosaurus, Milan provided Everything Dinosaur with a list of ten things that we ought to know about these armoured dinosaurs.

Good Facts about Stegosaurus – by Milan

1 . Stegosaurus is the most famous dinosaur from the group known as stegosaurids.  They are plant-eaters of the Jurassic age , some scientists think of the tail and if the Stegosaurus has the defence against predators.

2. There have 19 plates found along the back of Stegosaurus  and 4 spikes on its tail.

3. At 560 centimetres long and 290 centimetres tall, similar in size to a 4×4 vehicle, the skeleton has over 300 bones. It was found virtually complete in the USA 11 years ago, with only the left arm and base of the tail missing.

4. The plates and spiky tail are used to scare other dinosaurs away.

5. The Stegosaurus`s use plates to reflect colour to scare predators and control the tail to help the spiky tail to hit a target.

6. Stegosaurus has 300 bones to show museums like the Natural History Museum.  Visitors will see the Stegosaurus (Sophie) on display at the museum.

7. Some palaeontologists believe that the action of the tail and plates that Sophie had were used in defence, like a prehistoric hammer.

8. Stegosaurus has a beaky mouth, perfect to eat soft plants.

9. Sophie was not fully grown when she died.  There were many types of different sized Stegosaurus around America, “Sophie” was a Late Jurassic herbivore.  There were many armoured herbivores in the Early Cretaceous too.

10. Stegosaurus means “roofed lizard”,  it was a vegetarian (herbivore), other dinosaurs were carnivores.

Milan Included this Picture of the Stegosaurus in his Notes

The preserved skeleton of "Sophie" the Stegosaurus.

The preserved skeleton of “Sophie” the Stegosaurus.

Picture Credit: Milan (Courtesy of the Natural History Museum)

Our thanks to Milan, Alisha and dad Neil for letting us post up the information on dinosaurs that they compiled for us after we gave them one of our “pinkie palaeontologist challenges”.

In conclusion, Milan stated:

“Sophie is the best preserved Stegosaurus ever to be found, it lived and tried to survive in the prehistoric world of the dinosaurs.”

Article written by Milan, with powerpoint presentation by Alisha.

Extension Ideas for Key Stage 2

Fossils and How Fossils Form with Everything Dinosaur

Year 3 at Hurst Green Primary have been studying rocks, fossils and dinosaurs in the second half of the autumn term.  3H have even been split into five teams for this topic that explores dinosaurs and life in the past.  The teams are Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptors, Sabre-Tooth Tigers, Mastodons, and Pterodactyls.  Our dinosaur and fossil expert, praised the teaching team for their innovative approach to delivering the learning objectives for this topic, however, it was pointed out that there were one or two concerns over the names chosen for the teams.  For example, although “Sabre-Tooth Tiger” is a term in common usage, the cats within the genus Smilodon are not closely related to modern tigers.

The Table Teams in Class 3H

Teams in the classroom learning about dinosaurs.

Teams in the classroom learning about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Hurst Green Primary

We did point out the other errors in the team names and sent over information to help the teacher make the corrections.  In addition, we gave the class one of our “pinkie palaeontologist challenges”!   In collaboration with the teacher, we challenged the children to create a scientific poster of the prehistoric animal that their team name was based on.  We promised to email over some teaching resources all about these prehistoric animals. Could the children create a display all about T. rex, Mastodons, Velociraptors etc.

To set up the task, we explained how scientists display results and data on poster boards.  We asked the children to create scale drawings, diagrams of the animal that their team was named after (with proper labelling of course).  Could they explain what the animal ate, where it lived and how long ago these animals roamed the Earth?

A Teacher Makes Notes About Suggested Extension Ideas for Year 3

A teacher lists the extension ideas during a dinosaur workshop.

A teacher lists the extension ideas during a dinosaur workshop.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Hurst Green Primary

The posters would provide an example of a non-chronological report.  This activity would help the children recount what they had learned during the Key Stage 2 dinosaur workshop and it would link nicely in with teaching objectives related to English, Maths, History and Geography elements of the national curriculum.

Our dinosaur expert spent the morning helping Year 3 study dinosaurs and fossils.  With a focus on ICT, could the children’s posters be pinned onto a classroom wall and a picture taken of them?  This photograph could then be emailed to Everything Dinosaur, all part of helping the children to learn about how emails and websites work.

The teacher commented:

“Thank you Everything Dinosaur, an excellent session – informative but fun with loads of hands-on activities for the children (and staff).”

For an explanation about why it is not valid to use the term “Sabre-Tooth Tigers”: How Smilodon Got Stripes

Staypressed theme by Themocracy