Preparing for a Question and Answer Session with Year 2
This week, sees the beginning of the summer term for schools in the UK. Everything Dinosaur team members have a very congested programme of dinosaur and fossil workshops to look forward to over the next few weeks and in a few days a member of staff will be visiting a school in Lancashire to conduct a series of workshops with Year 2 classes. As part of a busy morning of dinosaur and fossil themed activities, the teaching team have requested that we participate in a question and answer session with the budding, eager palaeontologists. The children will, no doubt, pose some challenging and intriguing questions to our dinosaur expert, however, we have prepared a special question just for them as part of our programme of suggested extension activities.
Our question for the Key Stage 1 children (Year 2) – how did dinosaurs keep themselves clean?
Did Dinosaur Preen their Feathers just like Birds?
Did dinosaurs preen their feathers like modern birds? If many dinosaurs were feathered, how did they keep their feathers clean?
Outlining the Extension Activity
Fossil bones and teeth can provide palaeontologists with lots of information about extinct animals, but evidence from body fossils can’t tell us much about how animals that lived in the past behaved. Trace fossils preserve evidence of the activity of animals, such as tracks, burrows, trails and borings. From this data, scientists can infer behaviour such as dinosaurs moving in a herd, based on fossilised footprints indicating the same type of animals all moving at the same pace in the same direction. However, there is very little evidence preserved in the fossil record about how extinct animals kept themselves clean.
Did Sauropod Dinosaurs Wallow in Mud Like Some Large Mammals?
If large mammals like extant elephants wallow in mud then perhaps large Sauropod dinosaurs behaved in a similar way.
Our Challenge to the Year 2 Classes
In order to answer some of these questions about the behaviour of dinosaurs, palaeontologists examine the behaviours of animals alive today that are related to the Dinosauria. By observing how birds and reptiles keep themselves clean, then perhaps the likely behaviours of dinosaurs can be deduced or inferred.
Can the Year 2 children conduct research into how living animals keep themselves clean? Can they transfer this knowledge to the extinct members of the Dinosauria and suggest ways that different dinosaurs such as Apatosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex kept clean?
As with all our dinosaur and fossil workshops in school, we like to provide lots of extension ideas to the teaching team.
- What can the children do to help the animals that live around the school to help them keep clean? For example, providing a shallow tray filled with water to make a bird bath – linking to the English national curriculum science syllabus – living things and habitats.
- Why do we need to keep clean? Why is it important to brush our teeth? A link to hygiene and personal development.
For further information about the dinosaur and fossil workshops conducted in schools by Everything Dinosaur team members: Email Everything Dinosaur About School Workshops