Category: Teaching

The Gradual Decline of the Dinosaurs – Earth Day Thoughts

The Gradual Decline of the Dinosaurs – Earth Day Thoughts

Today, the 46th commemoration of Earth Day, some 171 nations signed and ratified the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.  In essence, the Agreement sets out that the global increase in temperature will be limited to no more than around two degrees Celsius as countries work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions, widely believed to be responsible for a rapidly warming Earth. Some fifteen nations had already signed this international accord prior to today, mainly small island states in the Pacific, but with the addition of the 171 signatories, this is a record number for a new treaty.

Commenting on the importance of this Agreement, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated:

“Paris will shape the lives of all future generations in a profound way – it is their future that is at stake.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Addresses Delegates in New York

Ban Ki-moon address the conference in New York

Ban Ki-moon address the conference in New York

Picture Credit: Getty Images

The Two Degree Limit

The Paris Agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.  Although, the implementation of the agreement will not be easy and several countries, including a number from Africa and central Asia have not signed, if the Earth continues to warm, then our own species could well be threatened.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon explained that as the planet experienced record highs in average annual temperatures:

“We are in a race against time.  I urge all countries to join the agreement at the national level.  Today we are signing a new covenant for the future.”

Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur reported on some new research conducted by scientists at Reading and Bristol Universities that looked at the extinction of the dinosaurs.  A statistical study (Bayesian analysis), revealed that the Dinosauria had been in gradual decline for some fifty million years before finally becoming extinct. To read an article on this research: Fifty Million Year Decline of the Dinosauria

Extinction of the Dinosaurs Will the Human Race Go the Same Way Due to Global Climate Change?

Unless there is a proactive plan to tackle global climate change a mass extinction event cannot be ruled out.

Unless there is a proactive plan to tackle global climate change a mass extinction event cannot be ruled out.

Picture Credit: Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“There is already quite a strong body of evidence indicating that our planet is experiencing a mass extinction event.  Many key species are endangered or threatened and as we are top of the food chain it is in all our interests to try to limit greenhouse gas emissions so that a global climate catastrophe can be avoided.”

One of the authors of the research into the decline of the dinosaurs, that we reported upon yesterday, Dr. Sakamoto, pointed out that the research into the demise of the Dinosauria might have a significance with regards to what we are experiencing today.

He stated:

“Our study strongly indicates that if a group of animals is experiencing a fast pace of extinction more so than they can replace, then they are prone to annihilation once a major catastrophe occurs.  This has huge implications for our current and future biodiversity, given the unprecedented speed at which species are going extinct owing to the ongoing human-caused climate change.”

If the UN General-Secretary calls this a “race against time”, then this is one race that the human race cannot afford to lose.

Everything Dinosaur and STEM Workshops

Everything Dinosaur and STEM Workshops

Now that the STEM directories are being run by such a prestigious scientific body as the Royal Institution, Everything Dinosaur team members have been giving the dinosaur and fossil themed workshops that feature in this national directory a bit of a spring clean.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and the aim of the STEM members is to help to promote the teaching of these disciplines in schools.

Everything Dinosaur Offers a Variety of Dinosaur and Fossil Workshops for Schools

Dinosaur Detectives - one of the exciting school workshops offered by Everything Dinosaur.

Dinosaur Detectives – one of the exciting school workshops offered by Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

There are a wide variety of both in-school and excursion activities listed, covering all aspects of scientific endeavour as well as engineering and mathematics.  Our team members have been giving our workshops their annual check up, making sure all that helpful information (and contact details) are up to date.

Take for example one of our workshops aimed at school children between the ages of 9 and 11 – “Dinosaur Detectives”, which gives Key Stage 2 and 3 students the opportunity to study a real set of dinosaur fossilised tracks preserved in sediments located in Utah (USA).

Outline of the Workshop

Become a dinosaur detective in this fun and interactive session that introduces the concept of working scientifically.  Learn what fossils can tell us about life in the past and explore a strange and mysterious set of fossilised tracks that lead you on a journey of discovery all about evolution.  Can you become a dinosaur detective and solve the mystery?

Typical Session Activities

•Fossil handling and exploration
•Learning about palaeontology and the sort of work undertaken by palaeontologists
•An introduction to evolution and how organisms change over time
•What fossils can tell us about prehistoric life
•Interpreting information and gathering evidence from fossils
•Exploring a set of Early Jurassic fossilised footprints (working scientifically)

Lots of Tactile Fossil Handling in the Workshops

Lots of fossil handling in the Everything Dinosaur workshop.

Lots of fossil handling in the Everything Dinosaur workshop.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Learning Outcomes

The workshop is designed to reinforce learning associated with KS2 elements of the science curriculum with a focus on evolution, inheritance, climate change, adaptation and extinction. This is an active session that involves extensive participation, collaborative learning and reinforces key learning concepts.  The workshop reinforces the concept of scientific working, exploring evidence and interpreting information to formulate theories.  Students and teachers benefit from the chance to meet and engage with professionals from a scientific background.

Additional Information

Exploring trace fossils with Everything Dinosaur

Subjects Covered: Mathematics, General Science

Running time: 1-4 hours approximately

Ages 5-7 years old, 7-11 years old (Key Stages one and two)

To contact Everything Dinosaur to request more information/quotation: Contact Everything Dinosaur Request a Quotation

Note: Costs vary depending on location of school

“Dinosaurs from Top to Bottom” with Everything Dinosaur

Talking Science with Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur will be bringing a little bit of “Jurassic World” to Warrington next month when the Cheshire based company delivers a dinosaur themed presentation as part of the Talking Science series of public lectures held at the prestigious Daresbury Laboratory.

Each month, the talented team at Daresbury Laboratory put on a FREE public lecture on a scientific theme and Everything Dinosaur’s “Dinosaur Mike” has been invited in to talk about some of the latest research into dinosaurs.

Everything Dinosaur Will Be Presenting at Daresbury Laboratory

Talking Science - Talking Dinosaurs

Talking Science – Talking Dinosaurs

The Daresbury Laboratory hosts a monthly series of inspiring public lectures, themes this year include the Big Bang, super computers, imaging comets, looking for ancient royalty and climate change.  Everything Dinosaur’s contribution will be to provide a family themed, fun exploration of dinosaurs with lots of audience participation.  The team members have written a brand new presentation, building on the company’s excellent teaching reputation.

The Venue has been Checked Out by Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaurs are coming to this location in April 2016.

Dinosaurs are coming to this location in April 2016.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Talking Science lectures are FREE but reservations must be made prior to the event, for further information and to reserve tickets: Free Talk on Dinosaurs – Dinosaurs from Top to Bottom

The Proposed Running Order

One of the challenges facing the Everything Dinosaur team is to how to cram 160 million years of dinosaur evolution into a single presentation.  This is not easy to do, but with the youngest members of the audience in mind, the talk will focus on the likes of Triceratops, the tyrannosaurids and of course Tyrannosaurus rex!

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained:

“Our intention is to deliver a very interactive dinosaur show, with lots of information and dinosaur facts.  We will be inviting members of the audience to help us explore some of the latest research into prehistoric animals as well as setting a number of puzzles and quizzes along the way.”

Notes for Teachers and Parents

The April 6th presentation will include lots of handy teaching information.  Free support materials will be made available and these can be requested by emailing Everything Dinosaur.

Dinosaur Workshops in Schools

Five Stars for Dinosaur Workshops in School

As the Spring term in the UK draws to a close, Everything Dinosaur team members can reflect on a job well done with their dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools.   Since January, our dedicated teaching team have been working the length and breadth of the country supporting teachers and teaching assistants by providing dinosaur workshops to assist in the teaching of the curriculum.  Whether it is a Reception class learning about the properties of materials, a Year Six class discussing natural selection and evolution or even Key Stage Three tackling the complexities of genetics, our experts have been on hand to support learning.

Everything Dinosaur team members receive top marks from teachers for their dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools.

The feedback we receive from schools has continued to give our workshops five stars out of five and as we approach the one hundred and fiftieth on line review published on our specialist teaching website: Teaching About Dinosaurs and Fossils in Schools we still have top marks.  Below is a review provided by a Reception school teacher from Cheshire, one of the schools we visited last week.

Top Reviews for Everything Dinosaur’s Teaching Work in Schools

Praise for Everything Dinosaur.

Praise for Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Black Firs Primary/Everything Dinosaur

The teacher who provided this review also added:

“The children had a brilliant time and we absolutely loved it – so a huge THANK YOU to all concerned especially Mike who was fab.”

As well as the teaching workshop, we also provided some extension resources including a dinosaur measuring exercise specially designed for EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage).  These extra resources are just part of the assistance we provide teaching teams.  Everything Dinosaur also offers free dinosaur and fossil themed teaching resources to download.  The downloads are divided into helpful categories, there are general downloads such as pronunciation guides and anti-bullying posters and then categories dedicated to EYFS, Key Stage One and Two and then yet another section dedicated to providing free teaching resources for Secondary schools.

Free downloads of dinosaur and fossil themed teaching resources can be found here: Download Dinosaur and Fossil Themed Teaching Resources

A Key Stage One teacher providing feedback to Everything Dinosaur, after our work with her class wrote in to say:

“It was a really engaging session.  Lots of opportunities for the children to handle objects.  The children really enjoyed learning about dinosaurs and the Everything Dinosaur expert has a great manner with the class.”

To learn more about our dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Fun Learning All About Fossils and Life in the Past

Brainstorming dinosaurs with a class of school children.

Brainstorming dinosaurs with a class of school children.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Once the short Easter break is over and the Everything Dinosaur team members have finished their outreach work scheduled to take place over the holiday period, then its Summer term and more dinosaur themed workshops being delivered at various schools across the country.  Naturally, Everything Dinosaur will be aiming to keep up its five star rating!

Year 1 and Year 2 Study Dinosaurs

Dinosaur Workshops at All Saints’ C of E Primary School (Stockport)

Back in February, one of the fossil experts at Everything Dinosaur visited All Saints’ Primary (Marple, Stockport, Cheshire), to conduct a couple of dinosaur themed workshops with the children in Key Stage 1.  Over the course of the morning, the Year 1 and Year 2 children were given lots of challenges as part of our support for the diverse and very enriched scheme of work the teaching team had devised for the term topic.  One of the challenges we set was for the children to write a thank you letter.  Thank you letters provide an excellent opportunity for the children to practice their hand-writing as well as helping to reinforce what the children learned and could recall from the workshop we provided.

Bella has Sent Everything Dinosaur a Thank You Letter

Bella's thank you letter to Everything Dinosaur.

Bella’s thank you letter to Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Bella wrote to say that her favourite part was learning all about Tyrannosaurus rex and holding all the fossils.  Bella recalled that when you first touch real fossils they feel cold and that T. rex had two fingers on each hand.

Oliver’s Thank You Letter

Oliver says thank you.

Oliver says thank you.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Oliver included a picture of a brown coloured Triceratops on the back of his thank you missive.  In his letter he explained he liked learning how old fossils were.  A letter writing activity such as this provides school children with an opportunity to learn how to lay out a letter in the correct format as well as getting to grips with sentence construction.  Oliver demonstrated lots of lovely finger spacing between his words and he kept his writing in between the lines beautifully.

Ava’s Thank You Letter Sent into Our Office

Ava's thank you letter to Everything Dinosaur.

Ava’s thank you letter to Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Ava included a lovely drawing in with her letter, lots of smiling faces.  A special thank you to Jacob, Henry, Kieran, Ava, Tyler, Leila, Edward, Oliver, Brooke, Jack, James, Bella, Charlie, Kelan, Kieran, Isla, Louie, Freya, Lilly, Isaac, Ethan, Jude, Finley, Lois, Erin, Soren, Katie and to all the children involved.

Lois wrote to say:

“Thank you for letting me see the fossils and thank you for the stickers.”

You are most welcome, a special thank you from all the team members at Everything Dinosaur to all the children who sent letters into us.  Also a big Iguanodon thumbs up to the enthusiastic teaching team who helped us on the day and inspired the children to produce the letters.

Well done to all!  Pleased to hear that everyone loved our dinosaur workshop for Key Stage 1.

The Dinosaur Connection with Dragons

Dragons and Dinosaurs

Whilst in the West Midlands visiting Oasis Academy Short Heath to deliver a pair of dinosaur workshops, Everything Dinosaur’s fossil expert was given the opportunity to view some amazing dragon models made by pupils and parents.  The children in Year 1 at the Academy are studying dinosaurs for the remainder of the Spring Term and as part of the exciting scheme of work that had been devised for them, Everything Dinosaur had been invited into the school to provide dinosaur workshops for each class.

An area of the large and well appointed school hall used by the Breakfast Club had been made available for Everything Dinosaur to use, but a good portion of the rest of it had been dedicated to displaying some amazing dragon models that parents and pupils had made as part of a week of learning all about these mythical creatures.

Dragon Models on Display at Oasis Academy Short Heath

Dragons on display.

Dragons on display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaurs and Dragons – The Connection

Legends and stories about dragons can be found in many cultures.  However, they are principally associated with China.  It is thought that the discovery of dinosaur bones and teeth gave rise to the dragon myth.  Fossils, including those of dinosaurs, have been weathering out of rocks for millions of years.  Parts of China have particularly rich fossil deposits and it is likely that the discovery of these strange and often immense objects were explained away as being the long dead remains of dragons – how close to the truth they were!

Dragon Myth Probably Inspired by Dinosaur Fossil Finds

The dragon myth was very probably inspired by the discovery of dinosaur fossils.

The dragon myth was very probably inspired by the discovery of dinosaur fossils.

The First Documented Fossil Find

The children in Year 1, learning all about dinosaurs and fossils might hear about the discoveries made by Mary Anning, or perhaps the work on dinosaurs carried out by Sir Richard Owen or Gideon Mantell.  However, the first record of a dinosaur fossil discovery dates back more than seventeen hundred years.  The first description of a probable dinosaur fossil bone discovery can be found in a book written around 300 AD by the Chinese scholar Chang Qu.  He describes the finding of “dragon bones” at Wucheng, in what is now Sichuan Province (south-western China).

Perhaps the First Written Record of a Dinosaur Fossil Discovery

The first written record of a dinosaur fossil discovery.

The first written record of a dinosaur fossil discovery.

Sichuan Province is now famous for its dinosaur discoveries and a number of dinosaur genera have been named from fossil discoveries Theropods, armoured dinosaurs and numerous Sauropods including perhaps the most famous of all the Sichuan Province dinosaurs Shunosaurus “Sichuan Province Lizard”.

A Model of Shunosaurus (Wild Safari Prehistoric World Shunosaurus)

Available from Everything Dinosaur - Shunosaurus.

Available from Everything Dinosaur – Shunosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the complete range of Wild Safari Prehistoric Animal models including the Shunosaurus replica: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dinosaur Models

Dressing Up for Dinosaur Day

Dressing Up for Dinosaur Day

To mark the start of a week of dinosaur and fossil themed learning, children in Year 2 at Southglade Primary School (Nottinghamshire, England), were given the opportunity to wear their favourite dinosaur T-shirt to school.  Some children had brought in dinosaur costumes, others had their faces painted, so the Everything Dinosaur team member who spent the morning with the two classes felt very much at home.

Whilst talking through the learning objectives for the dinosaur workshops with members of the enthusiastic teaching team, our expert remarked on how spacious and well-organised the classrooms were.  There was lots of evidence of various challenging fiction and non-fiction based writing projects on display, hopefully the suggestion about children in class 2HD having a pet Triceratops and what adventures it might get up to might inspire these budding young palaeontologists to write a short story about a dinosaur visiting their school.

Teaching Assistant Mrs Walker had got into the spirit of the scheme of work by converting a hat into a dinosaur, how very creative.  Can the children work out whether this dinosaur was a carnivore or a herbivore by examining the triangular and very sharp-looking teeth that Mrs Walker had cleverly added to her dinosaur themed headgear?

Mrs Walker – Complete with Dinosaur Hat

Mrs Walker with her dinosaur hat.

Mrs Walker with her dinosaur hat.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Southglade Primary School

Enthusiastic and Creative Teaching Teams

Under the dedicated tutelage of the enthusiastic and creative teaching team the children in classes 2E and 2HD are bound to have lots fun whilst learning a great deal about prehistoric animals over the next few days.   Mrs Walker had even added some big green eyes to her dinosaur hat.  Can the children come up with a name for this dinosaur, how about “hatty-saurus”!

Dinosaur Hat Up Close

A big-eyed dinosaur with spikes.

A big-eyed dinosaur with spikes.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Southglade Primary School

The green spikes located on the head (also known as the skull, as discovered by Year 2 today), are very impressive and we love the big eye.  All to soon, it was time to leave, but we provided a dinosaur themed measuring exercise for the children to try, plus a novel extension activity that involves using some everyday materials to measure just how large a Tyrannosaurus rex could be.

Further Extension Resources to Support the Learning Objectives

 Once back at the Everything Dinosaur HQ there was just time to send out some emails with dinosaur drawing materials and fact sheets to help support the learning objectives.

More Papo Dinosaur Word Mats for Schools

Everything Dinosaur Creates More Papo Dinosaur Word Mats

The Papo dinosaur word mats featuring Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex have proved so popular with teachers that Everything Dinosaur has added a further two word mats to this free to download teaching resource.  The Papo Spinosaurus and the huge Papo Brachiosaurus now feature in this colourful word mat series, enthusing primary school children about dinosaurs and helping to increase their confidence with language and develop their vocabulary.

A New Addition to the Everything Dinosaur Papo Inspired Dinosaur Word Mats

Papo Spinosaurus word mat.

Papo Spinosaurus word mat.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These word mats, once downloaded from Everything Dinosaur’s dedicated schools website, can be laminated and then stuck on the classroom tables.  With six in the series there are plenty to go round.

To download free teaching resources including the Papo dinosaur word mats: Free Teaching Resources from Everything Dinosaur

 Teaching Ideas

These dinosaur themed word mats can be used in lots of ways.  For example, if one is given to each table then the children can be encouraged to learn about their particular dinosaur, a great way to enthuse the class about carrying out independent research and independent learning.  Can the children find out facts about their very own dinosaur?  Can they make a science poster all about what they have discovered?  The word mats feature individual dinosaurs with various body parts labelled.  Teachers could blank out these labels and ask the children to provide the information themselves.  Perhaps, they might even be able to add a few new ones of their own.

Pronunciation Guide and Timeline

A pronunciation guide is incorporated into each word mat.  Great news for teachers and teaching assistants as this means no more struggling with difficult dinosaur names.  The geological periods that make up the “Age of the Dinosaurs” are also provided along with a handy timeline.  The silhouette of the dinosaur provides an indication as to when the dinosaur featured on the word mat lived.

The Papo Brachiosaurus Inspires Another Word Mat

A Papo Brachiosaurus dinosaur word mat.

A Papo Brachiosaurus dinosaur word mat.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“These word mats have certainly proved popular.  At the start of the second part of the Spring Term we have been handing out a set of word mats to all the classes that we have been working with.  We have also received numerous requests to email these resources out to schools as well as making them freely available on our dinosaurs for schools website.  The children seem to really enjoy using them and in a number of cases, within minutes of handing the mats over to the teaching team they have been laminated and stuck on the classroom tables ready to inspire the budding young palaeontologists.”

To view the Papo range of prehistoric animal models: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

Class One and Class Two Study Dinosaurs

Kicking off the Term Topic – Dinosaurs

Children in Class One and Class Two at All Saints’ Church of England Primary School (Stockport, Cheshire), have started the second half of the spring term with a real roar!  These two classes are studying dinosaurs, fossils and life in the past with the help of their enthusiastic teachers Mrs Noble and Mrs Manning.  Although the term topic has only just started, the classrooms have lots of lovely dinosaur themed writing on display.  In Mrs Manning’s Year 1 classroom, a dinosaur museum has been set up, perhaps some of the measuring activities we suggested after our workshop might feature amongst the children’s exhibits.

The Dinosaur Museum in the Classroom

The dinosaur museum in Class One.

The dinosaur museum in Class One.

Picture Credit: All Saints’ Church of England Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

We noticed one of Everything Dinosaur’s inflatable dinosaurs on display in the dinosaur museum – it is an inflatable Stegosaurus!  As Mrs Manning confessed that her favourite dinosaur was another type of armoured dinosaur, an Ankylosaurus (pronounced an-KEE-loh-sore-us), the workshop format was altered slightly to allow the children to explore the size and scale of prehistoric animals using Ankylosaurus.  We were even able to compare our brains to the brain of this plant-eating, Late Cretaceous giant.

Gaining Confidence with Adjectives

When asked to describe the size of the huge Ammonite fossil, the children came out with lots of fantastic adjectives, the Ammonite was described as “colossal”, “gigantic”, “massive” and we even had “enormous” – all super adjectives that impressed the Everything Dinosaur expert who was leading the workshop.

Over the course of the morning the classes learned lots of amazing dinosaur facts, with the teachers taking many photographs, all of which could be used in the recounting and recall activities scheduled for the afternoon.

Marine Reptiles As Well

With the dedicated support of the teaching assistants the children had been sorting dinosaurs into herbivores and carnivores.  Reece had been colouring a drawing of a marine reptile, an Elasmosaurus (ee-las-mo-sore-us).  He confidently told our dinosaur expert that Elasmosaurus was a Plesiosaur.

A Drawing of a Marine Reptile (Elasmosaurus)

Reece and his Elasmosaur drawing.

Reece and his Elasmosaur drawing.

Picture Credit: All Saints’ Church of England Primary School/Reece from Class One

For one of the extension resources, we challenged the children to have a go at designing their very own dinosaur.  Perhaps, some of the dinosaurs that the children create might have long necks like Elasmosaurus, or even flippers, that would be a very intriguing dinosaur indeed!  Could the children make a dinosaur model using modelling clay or perhaps building bricks?  If the children create their very own dinosaur, we would like to see lots of lovely adjectives used to describe their design, in addition, could they come up with a name to describe their prehistoric animal?

Dinosaur Themed Word Mats for Schools

Everything Dinosaur Teams up with Papo to Help School Children

Thanks to all the dinosaur workshops delivered by Everything Dinosaur, the Cheshire based company has built up a strong reputation for their work in schools.  Indeed, over this half-term, Everything Dinosaur has logged up another twenty or so five star reviews from teachers on the dinosaurs for schools website.  One of the great advantages our staff have is that with their teaching knowledge combined with their dinosaur expertise, they can provide lots of advice to support the scheme of work that has been designed for each class.  Everything Dinosaur has teamed up with Papo to help enthuse and inspire the next generation of palaeontologists by using pictures of Papo model dinosaurs to create dinosaur themed word mats for use in schools.

A Dinosaur Themed Word Mat for Use in Schools

Dinosaur themed word mat.

Dinosaur themed word mat.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the EYFS and Key Stage 1 classes, the teaching team will be helping to develop communication and language skills.  The children will be encouraged to broaden their vocabulary, using different words and to gain a better understanding of their meaning and context.  Dinosaurs as a term topic, will certainly expose the children to a whole range of new words.  Given most children’s fascination with prehistoric animals, dinosaurs can help to inspire word usage as well as encouraging the children to read and write.

Dinosaur Themed Word Mats

For Reception classes, when it comes to literacy, the children will be starting to form their own sentences and to write, trying to include finger spaces, capital letters and full stops. The teaching team will continue to encourage the children to read and write using their phonic knowledge.   At Key Stage 1, children will have moved away from free flowing play activities into much more structured learning.  The school day will be more task-orientated with further progress in literacy and numeracy key components within the planned curriculum for the year.  Many schools adopt a term topic all about dinosaurs for Year 1 and Year 2.  Within this topic, the children will be expected to develop their fiction and non-fiction writing, using increasingly sophisticated language.

A Tyrannosaurus rex Word Mat Incorporating Information on Diet and Geological Age

Helping to develop literacy as well as touching upon scientific working.

Helping to develop literacy as well as touching upon scientific working.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The teaching objectives for non-fiction writing involve developing a wider range of nouns and building upon a fascination with dinosaurs to encourage the use of adjectives.  Here the word mat features a single dinosaur, information about the diet of the dinosaur is provided along with a handy geological timeline to indicate when the dinosaur lived.

To download these free dinosaur teaching resources: Free Dinosaur and Fossil Themed Teaching Downloads

To see Everything Dinosaur’s range of Papo prehistoric animal models: Papo Dinosaur Models

A Stegosaurus Word Mat for Use in Schools and Other Educational Establishments

A word mat for the Jurassic herbivore Stegosaurus.

A word mat for the Jurassic herbivore Stegosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows the Stegosaurus word mat.  It uses the Papo model Stegosaurus, as well as providing nouns, information about the diet of this armoured dinosaur and when it lived is given.  In total, five word mats have been developed, these can be downloaded from Everything Dinosaur’s school website for free.  These helpful word mats can be incorporated into wall displays, or laminated and stuck to the children’s work tables to help keep the focus on vocabulary extension.

Commenting on the addition of a these Papo dinosaur inspired word mats to Everything Dinosaur’s range of teaching downloads, one of the teaching team stated:

“These colourful word mats will make a welcome addition to a teacher’s resources.  Many schools have to rely on materials provided by non-specialist educational companies who simply lack knowledge when it comes to the Dinosauria.  We have found numerous examples of word mats and other teaching aids with spelling mistakes and other inaccuracies.  With these examples, the teachers can be assured that they have been designed by people who combine a knowledge about prehistoric life with expertise in teaching.”

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