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.

22 07, 2017

Painting Backgrounds for Dinosaur Dioramas

By | July 22nd, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page|0 Comments

Jurassic Park III Backdrop Completed

Talented model maker and dinosaur model enthusiast Robert Townsend has completed the backgrounds to his huge prehistoric animal diorama that he has been building.  The project entitled “Jurassic Park III”, has been meticulously planned and Robert’s care and attention to detail is reflected in the skilfully painted backdrop that he has created.

Background Boards in Place and Painted

Background painted for dinosaur diorama.

The beautifully painted backdrop to a prehistoric landscape.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Careful Choice of Colour Scheme

The background boards are constructed of stiff, but very lightweight foam and have been painted sky blue with various cloud shapes.   The use of longer, thinner cloud shapes in the centre of the diorama and at a lower height, helps to draw the viewer into the prehistoric landscape and assists in giving the backdrop a sense of perspective.  Choice of materials for a backdrop of this nature can be tricky, for example, wooden panels can be used but they can add considerable weight to the model and there can be problems securing them to base.  The foam boards would have been easier to fix into place, but painting them proved to be more difficult than anticipated.

Robert explained:

“As the paint dried they [the foam boards] had the annoying habit of curling up and had to be repeatedly bent back and flattened out again by laying them face down on my dinner table and placing heavy objects on then to flatten them out again.”

Light Foam Boards were used in the Backdrop Construction

Background for dinosaur diorama.

Backdrop for dinosaur diorama.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Adding Pterosaurs

Some flying reptile stickers, given to Robert by Everything Dinosaur, were utilised in the background making process, providing points of interest within the sky.  Robert wants to hang some flying reptile models within the diorama and asked our team members for advice on how best to go about this.  We find that fishing line is very useful for this purpose.  Very fine lines of less than one- pound breaking strain can be purchased from most tackle shops, or if you have a friend that enjoys angling, they are usually happy to donate a metre or two of line for this purpose.  Fishing line tends to be stronger than cotton, it is easier to tie and is less conspicuous.

Robert asked:

“Will the threads show on any pictures that I might take?”

Sadly, even the most carefully tied, finest threads will show, however, their presence can be mitigated by a careful selection of photo angle to minimise any intrusion and the relatively simple, blue background would make any lines quite easy to photoshop out of any pictures.  Thankfully, model making companies such as CollectA and Papo have recently introduced excellent Pterosaur models in terrestrial poses, after all, even the most capable flyers would spend a proportion of their time on the ground.

All It Needs Now are Prehistoric Animals

Prehistoric landscape ready for dinosaurs.

Diorama is ready to be populated by prehistoric animals.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Large Scale Dinosaur Diorama

The size of the prehistoric landscape gives Robert plenty of options when it comes to depicting prehistoric animals.  He intends to create a series of mini-scenes within the landscape, with the animals indulging in a number of different behaviours such as herding, nesting, hunting, fighting, drinking at the water hole and feeding.

We look forward to seeing Robert’s “Jurassic Park III” complete with its prehistoric animal residents.

17 07, 2017

Dinosaurs of China Exhibition Reviewed

By | July 17th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|3 Comments

A Review of the Dinosaurs of China Exhibition by Thomas Clarke-Williams

Budding young palaeontologist and all-round dinosaur enthusiast Thomas, very kindly sent in a review with photographs of The Dinosaurs of China exhibition to Everything Dinosaur.

Thomas Outside the Splendid Wollaton Hall

Thomas Clarke-Williams at Wollaton Hall.

Thomas, all ready to explore the Dinosaurs of China exhibition.

Picture Credit: Thomas Clarke-Williams

Here is his review….

The Dinosaurs of China exhibition, at Wollaton Hall and Nottingham Lakeside Arts is an amazing, informative, fun, enjoyable and a one-off experience that I highly recommend for all ages.  I particularly enjoyed the Mamenchisaurus and Sinraptor skeletons as they give you a fantastic insight to how big some dinosaurs really were.  It was a nice touch to add a mirror next to the towering display so people can become fully immersed with the size of the whole animal.  I also like how you can go up to the banisters and look down on most of the Mamenchisaurus and the Sinraptor, it adds to the shock and awe of how large these dinosaurs really were.

The Enormous Mamenchisaurus on Display

Mamenchisaurus on display.

The rearing Mamenchisaurus dinosaur exhibit.

Picture Credit: Thomas Clarke-Williams

The art on the walls and in the book, was captivating and amazing to look at.  It helped you to imagine these dinosaurs were alive and moving around, just like they did millions of years ago.  One helpful feature to viewers was the information plaque next to each exhibit.  They included a variety of important facts which were then repeated in the books.

Spectacular Artwork Helps to Bring the Dinosaurs to Life

Artwork by Zhao Chuang (PNSO).

Amazing artwork by Zhao Chuang (PNSO).

Picture Credit: Thomas Clarke-Williams

Something that I did notice is that the Dilophosaurus sinensis and the Alxasaurus are housed in a separate building.  Unfortunately, this separate building is not labelled very clearly in my opinion, and some people, such as myself, missed this part of the exhibition entirely.

Nottingham Lakeside Arts – Well Worth a Visit

All I can say is, when you go, make sure not to miss the Nottingham Lakeside Arts building, it’s well worth visiting.  I also recommend going simply because the exhibition organisers connected the displays at Wollaton Hall with the exhibition displays for a fun experience where you’re constantly switching between modern day and prehistoric times which adds to the experience.  The paleoart used for each exhibit was beautifully done and helps the viewers to see what the dinosaurs may have looked like when they were alive.

Helpful Information Panels Throughout the Exhibition

Confuciuosornis information panel

Helpful and informative display panels throughout the exhibition.

Picture Credit: Thomas Clarke-Williams

The book, which you can pick up and buy from the entrance to the exhibition, is packed with detail and amazing art of the creatures.  The front cover shows the world where Microraptor and Sinornithosaurus lived, which gives a great insight into the lives of dinosaurs right from the start.  Some of the really in-depth facts are missed but it’s only minor as the average person does not need to know all the “nitty gritty stuff” like how a type specimen of Dilong is possibly a juvenile, or the fact that Linheraptor is actually smaller than Velociraptor.  But these minor details are insignificant to the overall presentation of the exhibition.

Birds from the Mesozoic

Using Chinese and Asian Dinosaurs is, in my opinion, the best way of getting people to understand how dinosaurs evolved into birds, as many of the dinosaurs at the exhibition have feathers and some could even glide.  I also like the inclusion of three Mesozoic-aged birds Yanornis, Confuciusornis and Protopteryx.  A pterosaur (Wukongopterus), was used to show the differences between the two lineages.

Genuine Fossil of a Prehistoric Bird

Yanornis fossil on display.

A genuine fossil of a Cretaceous bird (Yanornis martini).

Picture Credit: Thomas Clarke-Williams

Another useful feature that was included on both the information boards, and in the book, tells you how to pronounce the names.  For example, “Yi qi” is pronounce ‘ee chee’.  Another helpful feature was the inclusion of what the name actually means.  A point that may prove interesting to viewers is the comparison on the wall and in the book of some of the Chinese dinosaurs to some American and European dinosaurs.  The fact that Lufengosaurus is included helps people viewing the exhibition to get a good view of where titans such as Mamenchisaurus came from, the dinosaurs they used to dwarf, and it makes you wonder how a 5 to 9-metre-long dinosaur turned into a 23-metre-long one!

Towering Over You the Giant Mamenchisaurus Skeleton

Mamenchisaurus on display.

The head and neck of the immense Mamenchisaurus.

Picture Credit: Thomas Clarke-Williams

More Theropod Dinosaurs Please

Personally, I would have liked for a wider selection of dinosaurs to be on display but that’s just me!  I would have liked the awesome and terrifying Yutyrannus and Sinotyrannus to have been there together as they are large, fearsome, but interesting and in the case of Yutyrannus, beautifully feathered.  Both Chinese tyrants would have made for an excellent exhibit with the two locked in a fierce rivalry with one another.  It would have also been cool if Therizinosaurus made an appearance too, since he is quite popular with his huge claws that would have made for another amazing exhibit.  The theme used for the event sums up what the exhibition is about perfectly, “Ground shakers to feathered flyers”, the transition between prehistoric dinosaurs into modern day ones.  The inclusion of the fake Archaeoraptor fossil is a fun learning experience showing what some people are capable of doing to fossils.  The fake fossil has the tail of Microraptor, the legs of
an unknown animal, and the head and body of a Yanornis, a complete hybrid!

In conclusion, The Dinosaurs of China Exhibition was a great, amazing and enjoyable learning experience for the whole family to enjoy and immerse themselves in and a one-off experience too.  To miss the exhibition would be a real shame, so come to Nottingham to Wollaton Hall and Nottingham Lakeside Arts as fast as you can to meet some of the amazing dinosaurs of Mesozoic China before it’s too late!

Meet Some Amazing Dinosaurs!

Sinraptor - Theropod dinosaur.

The powerful jaws of Sinraptor.

Picture Credit: Thomas Clarke-Williams

Written by: Thomas Clarke-Williams

16 07, 2017

Tupuxuara Illustration

By | July 16th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Flying Reptile Fan Asks for a Tupuxuara Drawing

In our bulging email inbox this week, we received a request from an avid fan of prehistoric animals for some more information about the large Early Cretaceous Pterosaur called Tupuxuara.  We don’t get too many requests related to this, one of the more bizarre members of the Pterosauria, but as ever, our hard-working team members were happy to oblige.  A scale drawing accompanied by a fact sheet on this flying reptile, fossils of which are known from north-eastern Brazil, was promptly sent out.

A Scale Drawing of the Bizarre Crested Tupuxuara (T. leonardii)

A scale drawing of Tupuxuara

Tupuxuara scale drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

How to Pronounce Tupuxuara

This flying reptile was named after a spirit figure in the folklore of the people who live in the area of Brazil where the fossils come from.  Our emailer wanted clarification on how to pronounce the name of this prehistoric animal.  As far as we are aware, this Pterosaur is pronounced “Too-pooh-hwar-ah”.  There are several species assigned to this genus, the second species to be named T. leonardii honours Father Giuseppe Leonardi, who did much to improve our understanding of the fossils associated with the Araripe Basin of Brazil.

Tupuxuara is popular amongst model collectors and we have received some super pictures of the Papo Tupuxuara model being used in various prehistoric animal dioramas.

Tupuxuara in a Prehistoric Scene

Tupuxuara diorama.

Tupuxuara confronts a Carnotaurus.

Picture Credit: Rodriguez

This member of the Thalassodromidae family of Pterosaurs, was quite a sizeable beast.  Some of the largest specimens had wingspans in excess of four metres. As to what this flying reptile ate, this is open to speculation but palaeontologists have suggested various diets including fruit eating (frugivore) or even scavenging the kills of dinosaurs.  The picture above shows a Tupuxuara challenging a large Theropod (Carnotaurus) over the carcass of a Titanosaur.  This is a fascinating model composition and it demonstrates how popular Tupuxuara is with dinosaur fans and model collectors.

Papo have produced a Tupuxuara replica, to see this model as well as the complete range of Papo prehistoric animal figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

At Everything Dinosaur, we try our best to help all those people who contact us.  We try to answer all the questions and queries that we receive quickly and in full.  We respond to all those emails, letters and phone calls that require a reply.

2 07, 2017

Pterosaurs Are Not Dinosaurs

By | July 2nd, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Pterosaurs are not Dinosaurs

Perhaps the single most distressing thing we see during our visits to schools to delivery dinosaur and fossil themed workshops are the inaccuracies in teaching resources.  Many of the downloads and other learning resources that teaching teams rely on are simply wrong.  It is not the fault of the teachers, it is laziness on the part of the providers.  At Everything Dinosaur, we do all that we can to help educate and inform and we provide lots of lesson plans, dinosaur themed resources, teaching materials and so forth.  Our “dinosaurs for schools” website: Dinosaurs for Schools has a handy downloads section, teaching professionals and home educationalists can download for free lots of helpful resources.  There is a helpful blog crammed full of examples of good teaching practice when it comes to learning about life in the past.  In addition, we try our best to provide assistance and helpful advice.

Inaccurate Dinosaur Themed Teaching Resources in Schools

Triceratops mistakes!

Triceratops? Not very good quality teaching resources.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The photograph above shows a typical dinosaur themed teaching resource that we come across in school.  We admit, that at Everything Dinosaur we do make mistakes from time to time “to err is human” and all that, but it is almost easier to state what is scientifically accurate in the picture above than to list the errors.  These are the sorts of dinosaur themed teaching materials that are used to help educate and inform.   We have serious concerns about the standards of such teaching materials.

Pterosaurs Are Not Dinosaurs

One of the commonest mistakes we find concerns the confusion as to what exactly is and what exactly is not a dinosaur.  At the “Dinosaurs of China” event at Wollaton Hall, one of the most significant items of information in the entire exhibition can be found painted onto a wall in one of the first-floor galleries leading to some of the exquisite feathered dinosaur fossils.

Pterosaurs Are Not Dinosaurs

Flying reptiles (Pterosauria) were not dinosaurs.

Pterosaurs are not dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Pterosauria were not dinosaurs (members of the Dinosauria) but a separate, related order of flying reptiles.

Everything Dinosaur team members have lost count of the number of times Pterosaurs and for that matter, marine reptiles, have been included as dinosaurs.  Most children, with a degree of pre-knowledge, will be able to point out the errors in dinosaur themed “word mats” such as the one that we have posted below.

A Dinosaur Word Mat – Can You Spot the Mistakes?

A dinosaur word mat for schools with lots of mistakes.

A dinosaur word mat supplied by a school resources company – can you spot the mistakes?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Providing Dinosaur and Fossil Themed Teaching Resources for Schools

During our latest school visit, we provided the teaching team (Reception and Key Stage 1), with Mary Anning themed resources, a pronunciation guide, a dinosaur geography exercise to help reinforce learning about the seven continents and a dinosaur song that we had written for use with Foundation Stage 2.  We were happy to help and these were all given away free.

For further information on Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools and to enquire about teaching resources: Contact Everything Dinosaur

27 06, 2017

Smallwood Academy Study Dinosaurs

By | June 27th, 2017|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaur Drawings and Super Spelling

A day of dinosaur workshops with the Key Stage 1 children and the Reception class at Smallwood CofE Primary Academy in Cheshire and what a busy day it was too.  Under the enthusiastic tutelage of the dedicated teaching team, the children in Ash, Elm and Willow classes have been learning all about prehistoric animals and famous fossil hunters such as Mary Anning.  Several of the children had brought in their own fossil finds to show their classmates.  The children’s splendid fossils are not quite as big as the “gigantic”, “giant”, “humongous” Jurassic ammonites that our dinosaur expert took into school.  However, we are sure that the fossils that the children brought in will help to enrich this exciting term topic.  After explaining how fossils formed, there was lots of fossil handling and plenty of opportunities for the pupils to try out some super describing words.

Ash Class (Year 1) Design Dinosaurs

Year 1 dinosaur designs.

Year 1 children design dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Smallwood CofE Primary Academy/Everything Dinosaur

Extension Activities

One of the extension activities involved challenging the class to design their own prehistoric animals.  Could the pupils label the body parts including the skull?  Could they come up with a name to describe their very own dinosaur?  Having worked with the Key Stage 1 classes in the morning, during the lunch break, our dinosaur expert was handed a selection of the drawings from the budding young palaeontologists in Ash class (Year 1) – what a colourful collection of dinosaurs!

A Pink and Green Dinosaur from Florence

A colourful dinosaur design.

Florence (Ash class) designed a very colourful dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Smallwood CofE Primary Academy/Everything Dinosaur

New Dinosaur Discoveries

At Everything Dinosaur, we keep a register of newly described and named dinosaurs.  On average, a new dinosaur is named every three weeks and so far around 1,200 different genera have been erected – there are certainly lots of amazing dinosaurs to help inspire the children with their very own dinosaur designs.  We even emailed over to the teaching team a fact sheet and scale drawing of one dinosaur (Maiasaura), could the children work out from the drawing and fact sheet what Maiasaura ate?

Aimee Drew an “Apartesarrs”

A long-necked dinosaur drawaing.

A beautiful dinosaur drawing from Aimee.

Picture Credit: Smallwood CofE Primary Academy/Everything Dinosaur

Amazing Questions

Elm class (Year 2), had thought of some brilliant questions to ask and in the afternoon, we met up with the enthusiastic Reception class (Willow) and our dinosaur expert was introduced to Oliver – Willow’s resident dinosaur expert.

A very big thank you to the children for producing such a wonderful collection of dinosaur drawings and our thanks to the teaching team at Smallwood CofE Primary Academy for inviting Everything Dinosaur into the school.

23 06, 2017

Key Stage 1 Learn About Dinosaur Geography

By | June 23rd, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaurs Help Children Learn About the Continents

The national curriculum in England for children in Key Stage 1 states that pupils should know the location of the seven continents and they should be able to name them along with the five oceans. A requirement of this area of the curriculum (geography), is that children should develop locational knowledge. Everything Dinosaur has developed a dinosaur based geography exercise that helps with the teaching of this topic. It uses children’s pre-knowledge about prehistoric animals and their enthusiasm for dinosaurs to help them learn and recognise the location of the different continents.

Everything Dinosaur – Using Dinosaurs to Help Children Learn about the Location of the Continents

Dinosaur geography exercise.

Key Stage 1 – dinosaurs and geography exercise.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Demonstrating Learning and Linking Subject Areas

Palaeontologists have found dinosaur fossils on all seven continents.  Dinosaurs even roamed Antarctica, although, in the past, due to higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and other factors, the landmass we now know as Antarctica was much warmer than it is today.  Using a child’s fascination for prehistoric animals, Everything Dinosaur has developed a dinosaur geography based lesson.  Can the children identify where in the world different dinosaurs lived?

Palaeontologists Have Found Dinosaur Fossils in Antarctica

Fossil hunting in Antarctica.

Isolated and very difficult to reach – fossil hunting in Antarctica.

Picture Credit: The Carnegie Museum of Natural History

A Dinosaur Geography Exercise

Our comprehensive lesson plan provides the teaching team with simple instructions and the only resources required are a map of the world as it is today, some round-ended scissors to cut out the various dinosaurs from the worksheets and some sticky tape to secure the dinosaur in the correct place on the map.  The Everything Dinosaur geography exercise asks children to place a total of twenty-five different dinosaurs onto the various continents where the dinosaur’s fossils have been found.  Two of the dinosaurs have to be placed on the continent of Antarctica, the armoured herbivorous dinosaur Antarctopelta and the fearsome, meat-eating dinosaur Cryolophosaurus.

To read an article about Cryolophosaurus, a dinosaur that lived in Antarctica: Twenty Years of Studying the Antarctic Dinosaur Cryolophosaurus

Twenty-five Dinosaurs – Can the Children Find the Continent Where Their Fossils Have Been Discovered?

Dinosaur geography exercise.

A selection of prehistoric animals in the dinosaur geography exercise.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Learning About Where Famous Dinosaurs Lived

The national curriculum demands that pupils should develop a knowledge about planet Earth.  Within a dinosaur topic, learning about where well-known dinosaurs lived enables the teaching team to link this subject to the aims and objectives of the geography section.  Dinosaurs can help children learn the names and location of the seven continents and the five oceans.  Introducing famous fossil hunters such as Mary Anning and Sir Richard Owen can help children locate places in the UK where fossils have been found.

Everything Dinosaur’s geography exercise challenges Key Stage 1 pupils to place on a map of the world where famous dinosaurs like Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex lived.

For further information about Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur workshops in schools: Dinosaur Workshops in School

To read ratings and feedback from teachers about Everything Dinosaur’s school workshops: Feedback and Ratings from Teachers

20 06, 2017

Year 2 Learn About Dinosaurs and Fossils

By | June 20th, 2017|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Hedgehog, Squirrel and Deer Study Dinosaurs

Children in Hedgehog, Deer and Squirrel classes (Year 2), at Newport Infant School have been busy learning all about fossils, dinosaurs and life in the past.  A member of the Everything Dinosaur teaching team was invited into the school to conduct fossil themed workshops and to help the children explore what studying prehistoric life can tell us about animals and plants that are alive today.  How can we help animals and plants that currently share our planet with us avoid extinction?

A Stegosaurus Dinosaur Model on Display in the Classroom

Stegosaurus dinosaur model.

Stegosaurus model on display.

Picture Credit: Deer Class (Newport Infant School)

Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores

As part of a rich, varied and challenging curriculum, the pupils have been reading “Dinosaurs and all that rubbish”, by Michael Foreman.  The teaching team, ably assisted by their teaching assistants had skilfully interwoven ideas about habitats and the diets of different animals into a wider theme looking at conservation and environmental issues.  Recently, the school had been home to some chickens, which the children now know are closely related to dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex.  Just like birds, dinosaurs laid eggs and a model of a dinosaur’s egg had been brought into school.

A Colourful Dinosaur Egg in Deer Class

Cracking fun! Dinosaur egg models.

The big crack suggests that the dinosaur egg is about to hatch!

Picture Credit: Deer Class (Newport Infant School)

Half-Term Class Projects

The Year 2 children were set some special challenges over half-term.  Could they make a three-dimensional model of a prehistoric animal?  The dinosaur and prehistoric animal replicas made a fantastic display in the classroom, what an amazing collection of dinosaurs!

Children Created Their Very Own Dinosaurs

Children in Year 2 made dinosaur models.

Year 2 children made dinosaur models.

Picture Credit: Deer Class (Newport Infant School)

Many of the children’s models had been made from recycled household items.  By recycling paper, collecting rubbish, saving water and ensuring that lights are switched off, the children are helping to protect our planet and prevent the Earth from having the problems it had in the story book written by Michael Foreman.

Extension Activities

During the course of the day, the eager, young palaeontologists learned some amazing dinosaur facts and our fossil expert set them some “pinkie palaeontologist challenges” to help support the teaching team’s lesson planning.  There was even time for some questions with one of the classes at the end of the afternoon.

28 05, 2017

Year 2 Send Thank You Letters to Everything Dinosaur

By | May 28th, 2017|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Year 2 at Great Wood Primary School Say Thanks

Children in Year 2 at Great Wood Primary (Lancashire), had a workshop with Everything Dinosaur back in the spring term when the class was learning all about fossils, dinosaurs and life in the past.  We challenged the children to write to us at our offices, an opportunity for the budding young palaeontologists to practice their handwriting.  Once the term topic had been concluded, the class teacher very kindly sent us a set of letters that had been written by the children.

Year 2 Sent in Thank You Letters to Everything Dinosaur

Year two thank you letters.

Thank you letters sent into Everything Dinosaur (Year 2).

Picture Credit: Year 2 (Great Wood Primary School)

Our team members carefully laid out the letters on the warehouse floor and took a photograph (see above), before we pinned them up onto our warehouse notice board.  The children had produced some excellent and very well written missives.  Our congratulations to all the children and a special “Iguanodon thumbs up” to those children who demonstrated such lovely cursive handwriting.

One of the Thank You Letters from Great Wood Primary School (Year 2)

Key Stage 1 - thank you letters.

Thank you letter from Year 2.

Picture Credit: Maisie (Great Wood Primary School)

The picture above shows a thank you letter from Maisie.  Maisie’s letter demonstrates some excellent use of grammar and effective sentence construction.  We congratulate Maisie and her classmates on mastering cursive writing.

Dinosaur Term Topic with Key Stage 1

Learning about dinosaurs and other kinds of prehistoric life, provides the teaching team with the opportunity to build in all sorts of cross-curricular teaching activities into this term topic.  During the workshops that we deliver, our dinosaur experts make sure that they build in a number of follow-up and extension activities to support the scheme of work.  This term topic provides lots of opportunities for fiction and non-fiction writing.  The topic also provides plenty of touchstones to develop non-chronological reporting with the class.  A non-chronological report is focused on a single aspect of the wider topic.  It is a piece of writing that is not written in time order.

Non-chronological reports associated with a dinosaur term topic can include:

  • Creating fact sheets about prehistoric animals
  • Producing information about famous scientists
  • Writing about a visit to a museum or theme park
  • Compiling information about the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs
  • Building up a science poster that shows how fossils are excavated and prepared for display

An Example of a Non-chronological Report on Brachiosaurus

Brachiosaurus non-chronological report.

An informative research poster on Brachiosaurus created by Asad.

Picture Credit: Year 3 (Asad)

Once again, we at Everything Dinosaur say a very big thank you to the children at Great Wood Primary School and their teaching team.

For further information about Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in school: Contact Everything Dinosaur Request Information About Dinosaur and Fossil Themed Workshops in School

23 05, 2017

Dinosaurs of China Coming to Nottingham

By | May 23rd, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Major Feathered Dinosaur Exhibition Coming to Nottingham

The idea that dinosaurs are not extinct might ruffle a few feathers.  However, the Dinosauria essentially consists of two parts, avian dinosaurs (birds) and non-avian dinosaurs, iconic prehistoric animals such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus and Triceratops. It is the bird lineage, that is very much still with us today.  No need to get into a flap if this statement confuses, a major dinosaur exhibition starting this summer will provide all the answers.

Dinosaurs of China Exhibition Coming to Nottinghamshire

Sinornithosaurus

One of the stars of the “Dinosaurs of China” exhibition – Sinornithosaurus.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Event

Opening its doors on the 1st of July, the “Dinosaurs of China – Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers” exhibition will tell the story of how one group of dinosaurs evolved into birds and you can expect to meet an incredible cast of characters on the way.  Located at two venues, (Wollaton Hall and the Nottingham Lakeside Arts Centre), this family-friendly dinosaur exhibition provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view amazing fossils and skeletons that have never been outside of Asia before.

For further information and ticket details: Dinosaurs of China Website

Ground Shakers

Highlights of the exhibition will include an enormous, rearing long-necked dinosaur Mamenchisaurus that looks down at you from a head height of thirteen metres, that’s twice as high as a giraffe!  If the mighty double-decker-bus-sized Mamenchisaurus doesn’t get your young dinosaur fans roaring with excitement then look out for Sinraptor, a vicious carnivorous dinosaur that once roamed China some 160 million years ago. With a skull almost a metre in length and a set of powerful jaws lined with serrated teeth, Sinraptor was a formidable predator, one that could probably run faster than you!  Had you been around in the Late Jurassic and been unfortunate to meet this hypercarnivore, Sinraptor would very probably have viewed you as potential prey and tried to eat you.

The Fearsome Sinraptor (S. dongi)

Dinosaur - Sinraptor dongi.

Large Late Jurassic predator Sinraptor dongi.

If you like meat-eating dinosaurs, take time out to visit the bizarre double-crested Dilophosaurus on display at the Nottingham Lakeside Arts Centre and whilst there, sign up for one of the exciting dinosaur themed activities, all aimed at educating and inspiring the next generation of young palaeontologists.  A comprehensive programme of prehistoric animal arts, crafts, fossil exploration, workshops and story-telling has been designed to run in conjunction with the exhibition.  Booking early is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Running from 1st July through the summer holidays and ending on the 29th October, the “Dinosaurs of China” exhibition provides a rare opportunity to get up close to some of the most astonishing and scientifically important fossil discoveries ever made.

Feathered Flyers

Telling the story of how dinosaurs evolved into birds, the carefully crafted exhibition will entertain, inform and enthral, with visitors getting the chance to meet a dinosaur ensemble including several bizarre members of the Dinosauria.  Take the buck-toothed Epidexipteryx (pronounced epi-decks-ip-ter-icks) for example, a dinosaur that may have lived like a squirrel and winkled grubs out of tree holes like an aye-aye.

Dinosaurs Don’t Get Much Stranger than Epidexipteryx

The dinosaur called Epidexipteryx hui.

Epidexipteryx hui

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang, Xing Lida/Nature

For further information about this exciting dinosaur exhibition coming to the UK this summer: Visit the Dinosaurs of China Exhibition Website

12 05, 2017

Popular Palaeontologist to Present at Prestigious Science Festival

By | May 12th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Dean Lomax Presenting at Cheltenham Science Festival

Award winning palaeontologist Dean Lomax, an honorary scientist at Manchester University, will be presenting at next month’s prestigious Cheltenham Science Festival.  In what is likely to be one of the highlights of the annual event, Dean will be focusing on British dinosaurs and speaking about some of his research into the Ichthyosauria.

“Jurassic Britain” with Dean Lomax at the Cheltenham Science Festival 2017

Dean Lomax (palaeontologist) studies Ichthyosaur fossils.

Palaeontologist Dean Lomax with one of the Ichthyosaur specimens from a recent scientific study (Ichthyosaurus larkini).

Picture Credit: University of Manchester

The event, titled “Jurassic Britain” is scheduled to take place on Sunday June 11th at 5pm and further details can be found here: “Jurassic Britain” Information and Ticket Booking

A Fossil Detective Exploring Deep Time

Dean will expertly guide the audience through the myriad of amazing dinosaur fossil discoveries that sparked the original “dinomania” in Georgian and Victorian times.  From members of the Tyrannosaur family that once stalked Gloucestershire, Yorkshire Sauropods to huge Iguanodonts and armoured monsters that once roamed the Isle of Wight, often referred to as the “dinosaur capital of Europe”, the Doncaster-based scientist will demonstrate the importance of the British Isles when it comes to vertebrate palaeontology.

Dean explained:

“I’m looking forward to sharing with the public the incredible story of British dinosaurs.  When you hear the word dinosaur, most people think about dinosaurs from faraway lands, but it all started right here in Britain and I am going to introduce the public to some of the more incredible finds.”

Dean Lomax and Fellow Researcher Judy Massare Studying “Fish Lizards”

Dean Lomax and Judy Massare examining Ichthyosaur specimens.

Dean Lomax and Judy Massare examining Ichthyosaur specimens in the marine reptile gallery at the Natural History Museum (London).

Picture Credit: Dean Lomax

“Jurassic Britain” – Dinosaurs and Ichthyosaurs

Before the first dinosaur had been scientifically described, Georgian society was rocked by the discovery of the fossilised remains of bizarre sea creatures.  These fossil finds, such as those made by Mary Anning on the Dorset coast, helped shape the academic approach to the nascent sciences of geology and palaeontology.  In his hour-long lecture, Dean will also provide an insight into some of the latest research on one enigmatic group of marine reptiles – the Ichthyosaurs.

Dean added:

“The second part of my talk will focus on my continuing research into British Ichthyosaurs.  I’ve been researching these incredible marine reptiles for around eight years and in that time, some astonishing new species have been described.  If you like hearing about how fossils have been rediscovered and identified as something new to science then you should come along!”

Monster Marine Reptiles from Somerset (I. somersetensis)

Ichthyosaurus somersetensis holotype.

ANSP 15766, holotype specimen of Ichthyosaurus somersetensis.

Picture Credit: E. Daeschler Academy of Sciences of Drexel University.

The venue, for what no doubt will be a highly informative and illuminating presentation, is the impressive Crucible building, next to Cheltenham Town Hall, in the centre of this picturesque Gloucestershire town, that just happens to be not too far away from where distant relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex once stalked their prey.

“Jurassic Britain” – Sunday 11th June 2017 5pm to 6pm tickets £7 plus booking fee.

Eagle-eyed visitors may even be able to spot some Jurassic marine fossils for themselves.  Many of the town’s municipal buildings are constructed from Cotswold building stone.  These are limestones (Middle Jurassic), that were laid down in a marine environment and a number of small fossil shells and their casts can still be seen in the stonework.  How exciting to have one of the UK’s leading young palaeontologists discussing dinosaurs and marine reptiles in such an appropriate location!

For general information on the Cheltenham Science Festival, which runs from Tuesday 6th until Sunday June 11th: Cheltenham Science Festival 2017

“Dinosaurs of the British Isles”

For a general introduction to British dinosaurs, Everything Dinosaur recommends “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” written by Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura.  This book provides a comprehensive account of the dinosaur discoveries from Britain and is aimed at the general reader as well as students and academics.

For further information about “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” and to purchase: Visit Siri Scientific Press

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