All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
3 07, 2015

Celebrating Science with Blackpool School Children

By | July 3rd, 2015|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Blackpool Celebrating Science Conference 2015

Another busy day yesterday as team members at Everything Dinosaur took part in the Blackpool Celebrating Science Conference (BCSC2015).  Schools from all over the Blackpool area attended the event which was held at Unity Academy, with the conference taking place in the Academy’s spacious hall and the various science activities organised in nearby classrooms.  Everything Dinosaur was located in Mr Goldie’s classroom, we are grateful to Mr Goldie and his class for letting us use their room for the four dinosaur themed workshops we conducted with Year 4 and Year 5 pupils over the morning.

“Tyrannosaurus Sue” took charge of our conference stand and organised a fossil hunting activity for the children.  She had a very busy day with lots and lots of enthusiastic young palaeontologists exploring the fossil trays looking for ammonites, belemnites, brachiopods, petrified wood and coral.

Preparing the Everything Dinosaur Stand at the Start of the Conference

Getting the stand and fossil hunting activity for the conference.

Getting the stand and fossil hunting activity ready for the conference.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We posted up some pictures of the fossils the children could find, they were really impressed with the shark teeth and loved looking at their fossil discoveries with the large magnifying glasses we provided.   We also included lots of information about Mary Anning, as one of the competitions on the day for the children was to collect as many names of famous scientists as they could.

In the meantime, in the classroom we had been looking at animals with backbones and exploring the vertebrae of dinosaurs.  In the second part of the workshop, Everything Dinosaur explained some of the aspects relating to new research into the Dinosauria.  Our well received workshop involved “Jurassic World” and breaking some bones, the activities and experiments delighted teachers and children alike.   We were very busy with the workshops and did not have a lot of time to organise feedback from the eight schools we were scheduled to work with.  However, we did get two teachers to provide some feedback on the workshops that we delivered.  It seems we got 5 out of 5 stars for our workshop.  This feedback is extremely helpful as the short lesson we provided was one that we had developed especially for the conference.

Feedback from Teachers after the Everything Dinosaur Workshop

5 stars for Everything Dinosaur.

5 stars for Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

More Feedback from Everything Dinosaur’s Workshop

Everything Dinosaur gets rave reviews for workshop.

Everything Dinosaur gets rave reviews for workshop.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All to soon it was time to pack up, after all, we have to prepare for some more dinosaur themed workshops in schools.   Our thanks to Unity Academy for being such gracious hosts and for Cheryl Langley and Jane Walpole for organising the Blackpool Celebrating Science Conference.  We really appreciate the “tweeted” pictures of us as well.

3 07, 2015

Dinosaurs to Help Use of Language and Communication Skills

By | July 3rd, 2015|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Dinosaurs to Help Use of Language and Communication Skills

Dinosaurs Developing Communication and Language Skills

As part of a term topic on dinosaurs, teaching professionals can use this subject area to encourage children with their reading, writing and speaking.  Whilst conducting their dinosaur themed workshops in school, Everything Dinosaur’s team members are happy to discuss extension ideas and activities.   As many children are excited by dinosaurs and as these prehistoric animals are rarely out of the media these days a teaching topic all about life in the past can really motivate and enthuse schoolchildren (and their teachers).

Classroom Displays Demonstrating Use of Adjectives

Dinosaurs helping to expand the vocabulary.

Dinosaurs helping to expand the vocabulary.

Picture Credit: Bamford Primary School

Eight Simple Ideas to Help Develop Communication Skills and Language

Everything Dinosaur team members have compiled a set of simple exercises that can be incorporated into the classroom to help children develop appropriate communication, listening and language skills.  These exercises can be used as extensions with Foundation Stage 2 up to Lower Key Stage 2, with perhaps modified forms being applied to Year 4 classes and beyond.

  1. Story writing – encourage creative composition by having the children imagine that they could go back in time to visit some dinosaurs.  Can they write a story about their adventure?
  2. Spilt the class into small groups and have them prepare their own term topic newspaper that summarises the learning.  Photographs from the Everything Dinosaur workshop can be incorporated along with drawings, illustrations and lots of examples of class writing.
  3. A variation on the above is to have the class write a dinosaur themed comic strip. What stories can they come up?
  4. Dinosaur inspired poems – another simple idea is to challenge the class to come up with a dinosaur or prehistoric animal poem. This is a great way to develop vocabulary and more confident learners could present their work in front of the class.

Children Compose Poems/Write Sentences  Inspired by Dinosaurs

Aiming to improve sentence construction.

Aiming to improve sentence construction.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur inspired Poems – a really easy to implement idea that can spark imaginations and provide the classroom with a colourful dinosaur themed wall display.

  1. Write an autobiography on Mary Anning, Sir Richard Owen or another famous scientist involved with dinosaur research.  This encourages independent learning.
  2. Explanation texts, either themed around a single dinosaur species or perhaps writing an explanation as to how the dinosaurs became extinct (exploring ideas, scientific working).
  3. Play scripts – an opportunity for creative writing and composition. Can the class work together to produce a small play about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals?
  4. Reporting on the topic for a school assembly.  This activity can help bring the dinosaur term topic to a close and to help reinforce learning.

In total we have provided eight simple ideas that can help the classroom to focus on developing communication and language skills.  Everything Dinosaur team members are happy to help further by providing free downloads of teaching resources and lesson plans as well as emailing drawing materials and fact sheets to assist teachers and home educators.

For further information including dinosaur workshops in schools: Contact Everything Dinosaur

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