Fossils and How Fossils Form with Everything Dinosaur

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

The Table Teams in Class 3H

Teams in the classroom learning about dinosaurs.

Teams in the classroom learning about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Hurst Green Primary

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

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

A Teacher Makes Notes About Suggested Extension Ideas for Year 3

A teacher lists the extension ideas during a dinosaur workshop.

A teacher lists the extension ideas during a dinosaur workshop.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Hurst Green Primary

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

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

The teacher commented:

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

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

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