All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
2 09, 2019

Making Preparations for KS3

By | September 2nd, 2019|Key Stage 3/4|Comments Off on Making Preparations for KS3

Making Preparations for Key Stage 3

It has been a busy end to August for our teaching team as they finalise plans for school and college visits over the autumn term (2019).  All has been put in place and prepared as the schools start back.  We have dealt with the last minute enquiries and provided what support and assistance that we can.  Everything Dinosaur team members are involved in a variety of teaching projects including some work with Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students.  Our aim is to support the science element of the curriculum, especially those areas related to biology, chemistry and genetics.

In addition, we have been contacted with requests for careers advice.

The Practical Implications of Scientific Working

Advice on fieldwork has been provided by Everything Dinosaur.

Learning about evolution, Darwin and genetics by studying the fossil record.

The Purpose of Key Stage 3 Science

When preparing lesson plans for older students (KS3 and KS4), we keep a list on the desk which reminds of the purpose of science for these age groups.  This helps us to focus on meeting the learning needs of the class.

For example, here is the list we use when considering a KS3 class (Year 7 to Year 9).

  • Use scientific ideas, theories and models to help explain current/past events (link to evolution and to climate change).
  • Build on existing scientific knowledge from Key Stage 2 and to make connections between the different scientific disciplines.
  • Understand a range of familiar, everyday applications of science.
  • Consider the advantages and disadvantages of scientific developments in the context of their impact on the environment, humanity and the planet
  • Explore different views on topic areas and consider the reasons for these differences.
  • Emphasis the role of building empirical and experimental evidence to support findings and scientific ideas.
  • Design and conduct investigations of different types, making use of available resources and reference sources.
  • To critique and evaluate the experiments undertaken and to consider how the research could be improved/developed.
  • To consider the role of scientific communication in disseminating research findings – how does science reach a wider audience?

These lists that we have developed act as an “aide mémoire” to ensure that we remain focused on the learning needs of each class.

2 09, 2019

Ammonite Biozones and the Biostratigraphic Column

By | September 2nd, 2019|Geology, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Ammonite Biozones and the Biostratigraphic Column

It was the English engineer William Smith (1769-1839), who pioneered the idea that different strata located in different places could be correlated using the fossils that were contained therein.  Although, his astonishing feat of compiling the world’s first geological map did not receive all the recognition it deserved, after all, it was only later in his life that his achievements gained prominence in scientific circles, William Smith is regarded by many as the “father of geology”.

As he examined different layers of rock he perceived that any succession of fossils could represent particular periods of geological time.  Furthermore, the age of widely separated strata could be compared and correlated using the fossils that they contained.  These fossils helped to indicate the relative age of various rock formations.  Thus, Smith helped to lay the foundations for the science of biostratigraphy.  Ammonites and other invertebrate fossils are extremely important in the relative dating process.

Different Fossils of Ammonites Associated with Different Layers of Rock – Building a Biostratigraphical Column

Ammonite Biozones

Demonstrating a sequence of ammonite fossils identified from specific strata that helps to form a biostratigraphic column.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The above photograph was taken by an Everything Dinosaur team member on a recent visit to the Naturmuseum Senckenberg (Frankfurt, Germany), it demonstrates that different types of ammonite fossils are associated with different layers of rocks in a sequence of deposition.  The stratigraphic column can therefore be divided into zones (biozones), that are characterised by one or more particular type of fossil.  The sequence of these biozones in the correct order, creates a biostratigraphical column.

Ammonites are ideal zone fossil candidates.  These cephalopods were ubiquitous in Mesozoic marine deposits, their shells formed abundant fossils and ammonites evolved rapidly into many distinctive types (species).  We congratulate the Museum for such a beautifully created and instructive display.

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