Category: Teaching

Dinosaurs, Rocks and Fossils

Dinosaurs, Rocks and Fossils with Year 3 (Broadway Primary School)

A busy morning spent working with the enthusiastic pupils in Year 3 at Broadway Primary as the children have been learning about life in the past and exploring dinosaurs as their topic for the second part of the autumn term.  This subject area links nicely into the national curriculum science element for England at Lower Key Stage 2 (Rocks, Animals and Working Scientifically).  One of the aims of that part of the curriculum related to learning about different types of rocks involves explaining how fossils form and what fossils can tell us about extinct animals.  The girls and boys got the chance to cast their own fossils from Everything Dinosaur’s collection and thanks to the classroom wall they learnt all about how sedimentary rocks get laid down.

Can you See the Layers of Sedimentary Rocks?

Can you see the different coloured bands which represent different layers of rock?

Can you see the different coloured bands which represent different layers of rock?

Picture Credit: Montana State University/Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows a view of the amazing Judith River Formation which can be found in Montana (north-western United States).  These rocks were laid down in layers towards the end of “Age of Dinosaurs”, near to the end of the Cretaceous Period.  The dinosaur fossils we find in these rocks are approximately 79-75 million years old.  Duck-billed dinosaurs and horned dinosaur fossils can be found (herbivores).  There are also fossils of the meat-eating dinosaurs (carnivores) but these are much less common then the plant-eaters.  Can Year 3 work out why?

We can also find fossils of salamanders, bony fish, lizards and several types of crocodiles, although none of these crocodiles are closely related to the crocodiles alive today.

Dinosaurs and Maths

As part of our workshop and in order to support a number of mathematical themed extension exercises, we looked at how big the teeth of Tyrannosaurus rex really are.  One of the “pinkie palaeontologist” challenges we set the class was whether or not the children could use the special “greater than” and “less than” symbols we sent over to make a table listing items in the classroom that were bigger or small than the T. rex tooth they saw.  Could the children think of a way to present their data?

Benjamin’s favourite dinosaur was Velociraptor, he and some of his chums were shown an unusual way to measure a dinosaur.  Once this relatively small dinosaur had been measured we set the class another challenge that involved them trying to measure a much larger, carnivorous dinosaur.  Let’s hope they can master their eight times table, as this would certainly help!

Dinosaur Models Made by the Children

Model dinosaurs on display at Broadoak Primary School.

Model dinosaurs on display at Broadoak Primary School.

Picture Credit: Broadway Primary School

On the classroom walls there was lots of excellent evidence of independent learning, the books at the back of the classroom had inspired the young researchers.  There were also a number of wonderful dinosaur models on display.   The Year 3 class had produced some excellent dinosaur replicas and we loved the “Thomasaurus”.

Dinosaurs and Literacy

In collaboration with Miss Heaton (class teacher), we were able to advise on further extension resources, focusing on literacy.  Different types of writing activities were proposed (non-fiction and fiction) and we challenged the children to use some of the resources that we had provided to write statements about prehistoric animals and also to think up some questions to pose for us.  We know Ethan and Emma have questions, we suggested that they save them in their heads and then include them in a thank you letter that they could compose and send to the Everything Dinosaur offices.

We look forward to seeing some of the results of the children’s research as they study rocks, fossils and dinosaurs.

Warrington’s Wonderful Dinosaurs

A Morning with Year 1 and Reception (Winwick CE Primary)

October was a very busy month for the dinosaur experts at Everything Dinosaur with lots of school visits to squeeze in amongst all the other prehistoric animal projects that we were involved with.  On a Wednesday, towards the end of the month we delivered a dinosaur workshop to Reception and Year 1 pupils at Winwick CE Primary School (Warrington, Cheshire) and what a fun and fact filled morning it was.  The emphasis was on exploring dinosaurs and fossils so that the term topic could link into key areas of the national curriculum related to numeracy and literacy.  Lots of extension ideas and activities followed on from our visit, for example, we set the Year 1 children one of our special “pinkie palaeontologist challenges” – could they compose a thank you letter to Everything Dinosaur?

A Set of Wonderful Dinosaur Thank You Letters from Year 1

Year 1 write thank you letters.

Year 1 write thank you letters.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Sure enough, we received an envelope from the school, sent into us by the class teacher (Mrs Common) and inside we found a lovely set of thank you letters from the children.  Our dinosaur expert had asked the children to make sure they got their words onto the lines correctly, that they used capital letters and full stops.  In addition,  we wanted to see some wonderful spelling.

Amelia Says Thank You to Everything Dinosaur

Amelia says thank you.

Amelia says thank you.

Picture Credit: Winwick CE Primary School and Everything Dinosaur

What super writing Amelia, well done you!

Year One Class Send in Thank You Letters After Dinosaur Workshop

A thank you letter from Ethan.  Well done!

A thank you letter from Ethan. Well done!

Picture Credit: Winwick CE Primary School and Everything Dinosaur

We enjoyed reading through the letters and we loved looking at the wonderful prehistoric animals that the children had drawn, especially the Ammonites!

To discover more about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools: Dinosaurs for Schools

Commenting on the busy morning, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“We had a fantastic time working with the children.  Special thanks to Mrs Dudley, Mrs Hansley, Miss Abu and Mr Bate for their help and assistance on the day.  A big Iguanodon thumbs up to Mrs Cameron who even offered us some toast at break-time.”

It sounds like Everything Dinosaur were very well looked after at the school.  Dinosaurs as a term topic provides so many opportunities for children to gain confidence with their writing, develop their vocabularies and to practice simple addition and subtraction.  A big thank you to all the children who sent in letters to us, this is greatly appreciated.

Why Would a Dinosaur Not Make a Good Pet?

Year 2 at Bishop King CE Primary School Study Dinosaurs

As part of the extension activities suggested by Dinosaur Mike of Everything Dinosaur during his visit to Bishop King CE Primary School (Lincoln, England), to work with Key Stage 1, the children in Year 2 were challenged to have a go at designing their very own dinosaur.  Having met Tyler and explained that in the past a huge marine reptile roamed the seas of what was to become the United States of America, one of the company’s “pinkie palaeontologist challenges” was set.  Could the pupils come up with their very own prehistoric animal?

A Wonderful Oliversaurus from Oliver

Oliver designs a dinosaur.

Oliver designs a dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Bishop King CE Primary School

The children took to their task with gusto.  We challenged the class to think carefully about their dinosaur, what colour would it be?  Would it have a long neck or a short neck, a big body or a little body?  We wanted to see lots of lovely labels including pointing out where the dinosaur’s skull was, a word we introduced to the classes during our fossil handling activities.

A Big Green Dinosaur with Navy Blue Spikes on His Back

A big green dinosaur.

A big green dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Bishop King CE Primary School

The term topic for the two classes of Year 2 children this autumn has a science focus.  The aim is to decide whether or not a dinosaur would make a good pet.  This subject area acts as an umbrella topic, linking in with exploration of food chains, habitats and life cycles as well as learning about different parts of the body.  This particular extension exercise dovetails nicely into art as well as supporting literacy, vocabulary development and handwriting skills.

Excellent Labelling Just Like a Scientist

A very colourful dinosaur design.

A very colourful dinosaur design.

Picture Credit: Bishop King CE Primary School

When it comes to providing posters for conferences detailing research, it is important to provide accurate, well annotated diagrams.  This is a useful skill within palaeontology and it seems from these examples here that the pupils at Bishop King CE Primary have started to hone their science skills at an early age.

Commenting on the drawings, that were very kindly sent into Everything Dinosaur by class teacher Miss Knapp, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“A new dinosaur is named and described approximately every three weeks.  By the time the children break up for Christmas it is very likely that a further two dinosaurs will have been formally named and described.  Dinosaurs were a very diverse group of reptiles, over the 165 million years in which dinosaurs existed they evolved into all sorts of forms, as well as the giants such as Diplodocus and Tyrannosaurus rex, some dinosaurs could fly, others lived in trees whilst some types of dinosaurs excavated burrows.”

Our congratulations to the children in Year 2, they have come up with some beautiful and very colourful dinosaurs and Everything Dinosaur team members were most impressed with all the clear labelling.  We hope our dinosaur workshop went some way to help the children to answer the question why would a dinosaur not make a good pet?

Unmistakably Ella The Dinosaur Fan

Ella’s Thank You Letter to Everything Dinosaur

Whilst going through some correspondence in the Everything Dinosaur office today, we came across a letter that we had received from a young dinosaur fan at Southglade Primary in Nottinghamshire (England).  The letter had been replied to and indeed Everything Dinosaur team members posted up a blog article all about the dinosaur workshop that we had conducted with the Year 3 class,  but this one particular letter had been put aside from all the others.

We had been discussing how lead authors and co-authors are cited in academic texts.   A colleague had remembered a thank you letter written by a enthusiastic dinosaur fan Ella, from the way that Ella had written her letter, it was clear who had been the author.

Ella’s Thank You Letter to Everything Dinosaur

Ella was definitely the author of this letter!

Ella was definitely the author of this letter!

Picture Credit: Ella (definitely the lead author)

We could not mistake Ella as the writer of this letter.  When Everything Dinosaur conducts a dinosaurs and fossil workshop with Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children we encourage the teaching team to have the class compose thank you letters to us.  Very often, it can be a challenge for the teaching team to get pupils to practice their hand-writing and the composing of a thank you letter after a dinosaur workshop provides a wonderful excuse to put pen to paper.

To learn more about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools and to contact the company: Contact Everything Dinosaur to Request Information about Dinosaur Workshops in School

Our team members provide a huge variety of extension ideas and activities, all linked to key components of the national curriculum.  For example, when working with Year 3 children exploring rocks and fossils, we build in links to the maths and literacy elements as well as introducing the concepts of scientific working and geological time.

We received a big pile of letters from Ella and her class mates, the children commented:

“Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us about dinosaurs”.

“I loved the part when I could hold the biggest jaw.”

“My best and favourite part was when you opened the big box.”

“Thank you for letting me hold the fossils.”

“I really liked all the dinosaur facts.”

You are most welcome, we are glad that Year 3 got so much out of our visit.  Some of the letters that we received even contained pictures of prehistoric animals.  One of the extinct creatures that was featured in the children’s illustrations was Tylosaurus.  We think this was because in the class there is a little boy called Tyler and we explained to him and his classmates all about this Late Cretaceous marine reptile.

To read the earlier blog article about Everything Dinosaur’s visit to Southglade Primary: Thank You Letters Received from Year Three

If the letters received by Everything Dinosaur are anything to go by then dinosaur workshops in school for Year 3 are a big success.

Dinosaurs at St Paul’s Primary School

Year 1 Study Dinosaurs

Today, one of Everything Dinosaur’s fossil experts visited St Paul’s R.C. Primary school to help Year 1 with their term topic which is all about fossils and dinosaurs.  Under the expert tutelage of the class teacher (Miss Holdsworth) and with the support of the enthusiastic teaching assistant Mrs Sharpling, the children have been busy learning about prehistoric animals and famous people from history such as Mary Anning.

Outside the classroom, the Year 1 children had helped create a very colourful dinosaur inspired wall display.  Our dinosaur expert certainly felt at home when he saw the wonderful artwork.

Prehistoric Animal Themed Scenes Outside the Year 1 Classroom

A wonderful dinosaur wall display.

A wonderful dinosaur wall display.

Picture Credit: St Paul’s Primary/Everything Dinosaur

Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex (meat-eaters), feature on the wall display, along with a flying reptile and two dinosaurs that ate plants (Brachiosaurus and Stegosaurus).  During the morning, we explored dinosaurs that ate meat and learnt about some plant-eating dinosaurs as well.  The fierce monster bursting out of the wall in the picture above is most impressive.  A fantastic red tongue can be seen in the photograph and our dinosaur expert explained to the children just how long the tongues of some dinosaurs could be.

In the Year 1 classroom, the children had a role play area in which to store their dinosaurs.  The role play table was just at the right height for the children, thanks to the excellent woodworking skills of Miss Holdsworth.  If Everything Dinosaur ever need some scaffolding put up around one of our mounted dinosaur skeletons, we now know who to call.

A Role Play Area – Great for Creative, Imaginative Play

A role play table for Year 1.

A role play table for Year 1.

Picture Credit: St Paul’s Primary/Everything Dinosaur

 The walls of the well organised classroom were covered in examples of the children’s work.  A space had been set aside on one of the walls for some dinosaur bone art that had been planned for later on in the term topic.  Another wall displayed the results of a writing exercise in which the Year 1 children had written about what they would do if they were a dinosaur.  When working with Lower Key Stage 1 children in the autumn term the focus is on getting the children to feel more confident with their writing.  The exercise helped the children with the spacing of words and the use of grammar such as the full stop and comma.  The “pinkie palaeontologist challenge” we set the class which involved composing a short story about a Triceratops coming to lunch at the school should also assist the budding young scribes.

Examples of Individual Work Posted on the Classroom Wall

Work to "bee" proud of.

Work to “bee” proud of.

Picture Credit: St Paul’s Primary/Everything Dinosaur

The picture above show a dinosaur themed writing display which the children can certainly be proud of.

After the morning dinosaur themed workshop had been concluded, Mrs Sharpling led the class in a singing of “Yellow Bird”, this was very appropriate as during the teaching session our dinosaur expert had informed the children that many dinosaurs might have been covered in feathers, even bright yellow ones.

Thank You Letters from Year 3

Dinosaur Workshop Helps Handwriting

Children in Year 3 at Southglade School (Nottinghamshire) got to grips with dinosaurs and fossils as part of their science term topic which focused on prehistoric life.  A fossil expert from Everything Dinosaur was dispatched and he spent a morning with the Year 3 classes helping them to explore life in the past.  One of the key aims of the teaching scheme of work was to help the children develop a better understanding of how fossils form and which rocks are likely to contain fossils.  The Everything Dinosaur member of staff was able to explain to the children using lots of examples in a session that was orientated towards kinaesthetic learning.

Dinosaurs in Schools

Dinosaurs in school.

Dinosaurs in school.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To learn more about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools: Dinosaur Workshops in Schools

Our dinosaur expert had been briefed about one of the teaching objectives required.  The teacher wanted to help motivate the children with their writing, particularly composition. The boys had become less than enthusiastic when it came to writing and sentence construction, although they were very enthusiastic about the dinosaur themed science topic.  During the session the children were set a number of “pinkie palaeontologist challenges” all geared of course, to helping the children with their literacy and writing.

One of the extension activities proposed was for the children to compose a thank you letter to their visitor from Everything Dinosaur, our expert challenged them to write a thank you letter which contained a statement (what they liked best about the dinosaur workshop) and to use proper punctuation.

The children responded eagerly to the challenge and the teaching assistant reported back that the children could not wait to start their letters.  We received some excellent examples, these were posted to the Everything Dinosaur offices, we did respond to all those that required a reply.

Year 3 Children Send in Thank you Letters to Everything Dinosaur

Children compose thank you letters after dinosaur workshop.

Children compose thank you letters after dinosaur workshop.

Picture Credit: Southglade School/Everything Dinosaur

 Commenting on the letters received a spokesperson for the teaching team at Everything Dinosaur stated:

“We do appreciate how difficult it can be sometimes to motivate children in Lower Key Stage 2 with writing tasks.   However, after our workshop it was wonderful to see how enthusiastically the children responded to our challenge and our team members read every single one of the thank you letters we received.”

A teacher responsible for one of the classes praised Everything Dinosaur and stated:

“Everything Dinosaur delivered a fantastic morning.  Correspondence prior to the session was excellent and we were sent a very detailed lesson plan.  The sessions were pitched at the right level for the classes and we received lots of ideas for extension activities, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative experience.  Thank you very much.”

It looks like dinosaurs have proved to be a “roaring” success in Nottinghamshire.

New Species of Rat Discovered in Sulawesi

The Magical Rodent Infested Forests of Sulawesi – Hyorhinomys stuempkei

The small island of Sulawesi can be found in the central part of the range of islands that form Indonesia.  The fauna of this heavily forested island has fascinated scientists for a very long time.  It is located approximately half-way from Australia and Papua New Guinea to the east and Malaysia/south-east Asia to the west.  The Philippines lie to the north.  Researchers have studied the Sulawesi ecosystem in order to gain an understanding of how organisms have migrated across land bridges that once existed in the past.  Think of Sulawesi and this part of the world as a crossroads, where the fauna of Australasia and the rest of Asia mixes.

The Magnificent and Remote Mountainous Forests of Sulawesi

A magical place with a unique fauna.  The remote forests of Sulawesi.

A magical place with a unique fauna. The remote forests of Sulawesi.

Picture Credit: Dr. Kevin Rowe/Museum Victoria

The great scientist and naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who co-authored the 1858 paper on the theory of evolution by natural selection with Charles Darwin, spent many years exploring the jungles and forests.  It was because of his travels in this part of the world that he formulated many of his ideas on the natural world.  Wallace’s in-depth exploration of the Indonesian islands allowed him to develop a theory related to the geographical spread of organisms.  He noted that the world’s animals could be divided up into zoogeographical regions, the Mammalian fauna of Indonesia illustrate this idea nicely.  Sulawesi lines to the east of an imaginary line drawn through the archipelago (the Wallace Line).  Many Asian animal types have their eastern most distribution on Sulawesi and conversely many Australian lineages have their most westerly distribution on Sulawesi.  This has led to evolution of a very unique fauna on the island, most of the human inhabitants (about twenty million) live on the coast, some parts of the island remain relatively unexplored.  The island is also very big, it is the eleventh largest island in the world, and its landmass is roughly equivalent to the size of England, Wales and Northern Island combined.

The Approximate Position of the Wallace Line

Marking the barrier between Asian and Australasian faunas.

Marking the barrier between Asian and Australasian faunas.

Picture Credit: Google Map/Everything Dinosaur

Over the last few years, scientists from Museum Victoria, in collaboration with Indonesian colleagues and researchers from the United States have been trapping rodents in the forests found in the more mountainous and difficult to access parts of the island.  They have recorded a unique and very varied rodent assemblage, including the latest addition, the newly discovered Hyorhinomys stuempkei (hog-nosed rat).

This rat with its proportionately large ears, flat claws and bizarre hog-like nose is so genetically different from other species that it has been assigned its own genus.   A paper on the research team’s study will be published this month in the “Journal of Mammalogy”.

Hyorhinomys stuempkei (hog-nosed rat) of Sulawesi

The Hog-nosed rat - Hyorhinomys stuempkei

The Hog-nosed rat – Hyorhinomys stuempkei

Picture Credit:

H. stuempkei is not the first new rodent species to be discovered by Dr. Kevin Rowe (Museum Victoria) and his colleagues.  Sulawesi seems to be home to a whole host of unique rodents.  For example, Dr. Rowe was involved in the discovery and description of a very curious rat – Paucidentomys vermidax, a rodent like no other known to science.  It is almost toothless and unable to gnaw or chew.  It hunts worms and other soft-bodied creatures on the forest floor.  It’s discovery provided evidence to scientists that, under certain conditions, even highly successful traits such as gnawing teeth, a defining characteristic of the Rodent Order, can be lost.

The Almost Tooth-less, Worm Eating Paucidentomys vermidax

Paucidentomys vermidax - a bizarre newly discovered rodent from Sulawesi.

Paucidentomys vermidax – a bizarre newly discovered rodent from Sulawesi.

Picture Credit: Museum Victoria

In the case of the hog-nosed rat  Hyorhinomys stuempkei, the striking feature of this rodent is its large, pink and very flat nose with forward facing nostrils.  It also lacks a coronoid process on the lower jaw, an attachment site for muscles involved in chewing that is present in almost all other mammals including our own species.   Hyorhinomys stuempkei is very probably entirely carnivorous feeding on invertebrates, possibly bounding or hopping after its prey as its back legs are unusually long.  It has a disproportionately small mouth, but long incisors, which are bright white (strange for a rat as the incisors are usually orange coloured in most other rodents).  Take note of this, could companies with an interest in selling tooth-whitening products be making a bee-line for the remote forests of Indonesia?

Commenting on the new rodent discovery, Dr. Rowe stated:

“The Hog-nosed Rat is exciting for us because it extends the diversity of an already amazing group of rodents that are only found on the island of Sulawesi.  Even though there are only eight species in this endemic group, they exhibit a huge eco-morphological range including small grey rats, a nearly toothless vermivore, an amphibious rat, and now a long-limbed, hog-nosed rat.  There are millions of species on this Earth that are yet to be discovered and described, but I am still amazed that we can walk into a forest and a find a new species of mammal that is so obviously different from any species, or even genus, that has ever been documented by science.”

It’s worth noting that almost all of the mammals native to Sulawesi are endemic to this island and the genus name Hyorhinomys translates from the Greek as hog (hyo), nose (rhino) and rat (mys).

Discovered by an international team comprising Dr. Kevin Rowe (Museum Victoria); Heru Handika (Museum Victoria); Anang Achmadi (Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense); and Dr. Jacob Esselstyn (Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science) this new discovery is the third new genus described by this international collaboration since 2012.

Year Six Look at Animal Adaptations

Fossils Help Explain about Extinction

For children in Year six at Lomeshaye Junior School, Monday saw a change in their classroom routines.  One of the rooms used by the three classes was taken over for the day by a fossil expert from Everything Dinosaur.  Hopefully, the reshuffle was worth it as Ash, Rowan and Elder were able to examine fossils from animals that lived many millions of years ago.  The budding young palaeontologists have been learning about what animals need in order to survive and how animals can adapt to live in different environments.

Helped by Yousuf and Conain, the schools resident dinosaur experts, the children explored how fossils form and examined a mystery that concerns one of the most famous dinosaurs of all, the plant-eating dinosaur Triceratops.  Time for the children to become “dinosaur detectives” to use scientific working to look at evidence and to decide upon a theory that supports the fossil record.

We looked at fossils and learned how scientists interpret fossils to help them understand creatures that lived in the past.  Using fossils the children looked at how animals are adapted to suit their environment and when the environment changes then extinctions can occur.  Time to introduce information on the bizarre Coelacanth as well as the awesome “teacher swallowing in one bite” Carcharodon megalodon or to use its other name Carcharocles megalodon*.

The children in Mr Smith’s class were challenged to design their own dinosaur.  Our expert wanted to see what adaptations the children would give their creation to help it survive.  We had some amazing designs and the children demonstrated how they could apply their knowledge to the task.

Year Six Children Create Their Very Own Prehistoric Monsters

Colourful dinosaur designs by Year 6.

Colourful dinosaur designs by Year 6.

Picture Credit: Lomeshaye Junior School/Everything Dinosaur

One of the animals designed was very round and fat.  Our fossil expert listened carefully as it was explained to him, that the fat layers that this dinosaur had helped to it keep warm – very clever.

The Colourful Dinosaurs Helped Demonstrate How Animals Adapt

Year 6 look at adaptations.

Year 6 look at adaptations.

Picture Credit: Lomeshaye Junior School/Everything Dinosaur

One little boy described his dinosaur and outlined how it was venomous, with one bite from its teeth able to paralyse prey.  What a fascinating idea!  One that has been backed up by some scientists who have been studying the fossilised bones and teeth of a predatory dinosaur from China.  The dinosaur called Sinornithosaurus (sigh-no-orn-nith-oh-sore-us), the name translates as “Chinese Bird Lizard”, may have had a venomous bite.

To read about a potentially venomous dinosaur discovery: Dinosaur with a Venomous Bite?

Laid out on the Tables the Drawings Made a Very Colourful Display

Getting creative as children learn about prehistoric animals.

Getting creative as children learn about prehistoric animals.

Picture Credit: Lomeshaye Junior School/Everything Dinosaur

Even Mr Lawless, one of the dedicated learning support team members, had a go.  His spider influenced design showed great imagination and our dinosaur expert loved the blue and yellow head crest.

It looks like the dinosaur and fossil workshop has helped inspire and enthuse teachers as well as pupils as Year six examines how environments change and animals adapt in order to survive.

* Carcharodon megalodon or  Carcharocles megalodon, there is still some debate as to how this giant shark should be classified.

Dinosaurs for Homework

Dinosaur Topic at Bradley Green Community Primary School

Year 2 children at Bradley Green Community Primary have been busy this term learning all about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.  As part of their studies, the eager, budding young palaeontologists have been researching which dinosaurs were herbivores, which were carnivores and there has even been some discussion as to which dinosaurs were omnivores.  Under the tutelage of Mr Stone and Miss Wood, the children have written down lots of facts about life in the past in their exercise books and they have made a geological timeline to see just how long ago the dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

In addition, as part of the homework that had been set, some of the pupils made fabulous models of prehistoric animals and what a colourful collection of dinosaur replicas they are.

Year 2 Homework – Make a Model of a Dinosaur

Colourful, creative dinosaurs.

Colourful, creative dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Bradley Green Community Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Can you spot a green Stegosaurus with yellow plates on its back?  This was Nathan’s model and he explained that the body of his dinosaur had been made from a balloon.  Perhaps we should call Nathan’s dinosaur a “Balloonosaurus”

Our dinosaur expert did his best to answer the children’s questions.  They wanted to know how the dinosaurs became extinct and asked why did some dinosaurs have armour?

Asking Lots of Questions about Prehistoric Animals

Lots of questions about dinosaurs on display.

Lots of questions about dinosaurs on display.

Picture Credit: Bradley Green Community Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

There were lots of examples of questions for the children to research pinned up around the well organised and tidy classroom.  Indeed, the focus of this term topic is around answering the question how do we know dinosaurs really existed?  The fossils Everything Dinosaur brought in to show the children certainly helped and Year 2 enjoyed handling the various fossils, even if some were very cold!

Amongst the various extension resources that were emailed over after our visit, we included more information on a dinosaur measuring and scaling exercise that involves calculating just how big some dinosaurs actually were.  Good luck with measuring the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Diplodocus.  Some of the pictures taken by Miss Wood and Mr Stone might end up in the children’s books, that’s after, of course, the recall and re-counting exercise, we suspect the children will be able to remember lots of facts about dinosaurs.

Year 2 Made Fact Sheets on Dinosaurs

Lots of facts about dinosaurs on display.

Lots of facts about dinosaurs on display.

Picture Credit: Bradley Green Community Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

The walls of the classroom will soon be covered in examples of the children’s work, pupil led research as the young scientists learn about a favourite dinosaur.  During his visit, our dinosaur expert examined some super dinosaur themed fact sheets.  Will the drawing of the horned dinosaur called Avaceratops we emailed inspire Ava and her friends to design their very own prehistoric animal?

It certainly was fun undertaking a dinosaur themed workshop with Year 2 and we are confident that our visit has helped to inspire and motivate the children to learn even more about dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Workshops Get Five Star Rating

Dinosaur Workshops Get Top Marks from Teachers

Everything Dinosaur’s teaching work in schools continues to impress teachers and teaching assistants and the company has achieved a top rating of five stars for its school visits.  Feedback forms received average five stars, the highest mark available on Everything Dinosaur’s rating system.  After a dinosaur workshop we ask the teaching team to provide feedback on our performance, how we engaged the children, the way in which we adjusted our work to meet the learning needs of the class and how we were able to assist the teachers in helping them to achieve their lesson outcomes.  Our efforts in these areas have resulted in Everything Dinosaur’s workshops in schools getting a top rating.

Five Stars for Everything Dinosaur

Top marks for dinosaur company.

Top marks for dinosaur company.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The average rating is calculated by software embedded in the company’s specialist teaching website.  This information is then displayed on the front of Everything Dinosaur’s feedback/rating page.  In this way, any prospective customer can see instantly how our workshops are rated.  There are also pages and pages of teaching reviews available, all written by teaching professions, senior leadership team (SLT) members or teaching assistants who have experienced one of our workshops first hand.

The Rating System on the Everything Dinosaur Teaching Feedback Form

Great feedback for Everything Dinosaur's teaching work in schools.

Great feedback for Everything Dinosaur’s teaching work in schools.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We ask the teacher to rate our work and to write comments regarding our performance.  Sometimes, as in the picture above we even get a smiley face from the feedback provider.

Five out of Five for our Dinosaur Workshops in Schools

Top marks from teachers from Everything Dinosaur.

Top marks from teachers from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It seems that smiley faces are a common currency in the teaching profession.  However, we also ask teaching professionals to provide reviews and comments with regards to our dinosaur and fossil workshops.  This information is used to help us to improve what we offer to schools and other educational establishments.  We are grateful for all the feedback we receive, for example Kim, a Year 4 teacher at Bispham Endowed Primary School wrote:

“Fabulous!  Very interesting!  The children really engaged and focused, they thoroughly enjoyed it.  Thank you.”

This is very typical of the sort of feedback that our team members receive.  Simone, working with Foundation Stage children at Withinfields Primary provided Everything Dinosaur with the following review:

“Thank you!  We all really enjoyed the session.  It was very interesting and has given us a fantastic start to our new topic.  We are looking forward to developing our knowledge of dinosaurs further.”

Such feedback is very important to us, it allows our team members to consider and take on advice and constructive comments so that they can make their teaching work in schools even more effective.   With the roll out of the new curriculum in England, with its emphasis on scientific enquiry and scientific working our visits to schools are becoming increasingly popular, especially when you consider that rocks and fossils are teaching elements in the science curriculum for Lower Key Stage 2 and the Year six students are expected to know something about adaptation, extinction, inheritance and natural selection.

To read the feedback from teachers, simply visit Everything Dinosaur’s specialist teaching website: Dinosaur Workshops in Schools

For Everything Dinosaur, our teaching about dinosaurs in schools continues to attract top marks from teachers.

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