All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//Key Stage 1/2

Articles that focus on teaching ideas and activities aimed at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

22 04, 2019

Preparing and Extension Activity for Key Stage 1

By | April 22nd, 2019|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Preparing and Extension Activity for Key Stage 1

Dinosaur Themed Extension Activity for Key Stage 1

Everything Dinosaur team members are getting ready for the start of the summer term (UK).  Staff have a lot of dinosaur and fossil themed workshops and other activities to prepare.  For example, in a few days, a team member is visiting a school to conduct some dinosaur workshops with Year 2 classes and once the workshops have been concluded they have been invited to a question and answer session with two classes of Year 2.

As part of our extension activities to help support the teaching team’s scheme of work, we have developed a lesson plan based around answering the question how did dinosaurs keep themselves clean?

How Did Dinosaurs Keep Themselves Clean?

An extension activity for Key Stage 1.

Everything Dinosaur has prepared a pdf outlining an extension activity for schools – how did dinosaurs keep clean?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Helpful PDF – Extension Activity for Key Stage 1

To assist the teaching team, we have developed a lesson plan outlining the learning aims and objectives.  Fossil bones and teeth help scientists to work out what extinct animals looked like, what they ate and how they moved, but evidence from fossils can’t tell palaeontologists much about the way that prehistoric animals behaved.  Trace fossils such as trackways and burrows can provide some evidence, but in order to answer questions about Dinosauria hygiene, scientists have to study animals alive today in order to get some clues.  By studying living creatures palaeontologists can make educated assumptions about how extinct animals kept themselves clean.

Did Some Dinosaurs Roll Around in the Dust to Help Keep Themselves Clean?

A meat-eating dinosaur rolls around in the dust.

Some dinosaurs may have had dust baths to keep themselves clean. What type of animals today have dust baths?

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“When we visit schools, we like to provide additional resources to help support the topic area.   We are happy to provide lots of free information including prepared lesson plans and lesson guides.  It is all part of our extensive programme of dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools.”

For further information about the range of dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools offered by Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur and Fossil Themed Workshops in Schools – Contact Us for More Information

17 04, 2019

Symbiosis in the Dinosauria

By | April 17th, 2019|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2, Key Stage 3/4|Comments Off on Symbiosis in the Dinosauria

Symbiosis in the Dinosauria

Some animals alive today relay on the assistance of other animals to help them keep clean and tidy.  Tropical fish on coral reefs deliberately visit areas where “cleaner fish” congregate and they patiently wait whilst these fish clean them and remove dead skin and parasites.  In Africa, the Oxpecker (Buphagus spp.), a type of starling, regularly hitch a ride on the back of a large mammals, such as elephants and pick dead skin and parasites from their host’s hide.  These birds also catch insects disturbed as the large animals move through the scrub and bush.

It is very likely that these sorts of mutually beneficial relationships between different species occurred in the past and with dinosaurs.

A Big, Carnivorous Dinosaur Gets Her Teeth Cleaned

An example of symbiosis in the Dinosauria

Teeth cleaning in the Dinosauria.  Small Theropod dinosaurs clean the teeth of a larger carnivore.

Picture Credit: Sergey Krasovskiy

Symbiosis – Classroom Extension Ideas

Mutually beneficial activities are termed symbiotic relationships by scientists.  In the picture (above), a large Theropod dinosaur is getting its teeth cleaned by a smaller, meat-eating dinosaur.  The large dinosaur benefits from the teeth cleaning as it helps to prevent infections whilst the smaller Theropod is getting a free meal.  Symbiosis is the term used to describe an interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association to the benefit of both.

  • Can your class find examples of mutual co-operation (symbiosis) in the natural world?
  • Can the class consider ways that pupils and staff at the school co-operate together?
13 03, 2019

Year 5 Learning About Extinction and Evolution

By | March 13th, 2019|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Year 5 Learning About Extinction and Evolution

Year 5 Learning About Extinction and Evolution

Whilst on a visit to the West Midlands to work with two classes of Year 5 children who had been learning about evolution and extinction this term, our dinosaur expert spotted some super prehistoric animal themed posters on display.  The pupils had been challenged to produce a piece of independent work related to their term topic “Jurassic World” and many had chosen to compile posters depicting prehistoric animals and listing lots of dinosaur themed facts.

A Very Informative Dinosaur Poster (Year 5)

Dinosaur poster.

A super and most informative dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed poster by Mustafa (Year 5).

Picture Credit: Mustafa and Oasis Academy Short Heath (Birmingham)

Mustafa confidently told our dinosaur and fossil expert that Tyrannosaurus rex lived to about thirty years of age.  Mustafa and his friends were surprised to learn how many teeth T. rex had and that palaeontologists think that female Tyrannosaurs grew up to be bigger and stronger than the males.

Colourful Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Posters on Display in the Classroom

Dinosaur posters on display in a classroom.

Amazing dinosaur and prehistoric animal posters.  With lots and lots of carefully researched dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed facts.

Picture Credit: Year 5 Oasis Academy Short Heath (Birmingham)

3 03, 2019

Feedback from a Teacher

By | March 3rd, 2019|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Feedback from a Teacher

Feedback from a Teacher

Everything Dinosaur team members are busy sorting out all the dinosaur and fossil themed workshops and school visits that we have scheduled over the rest of this spring term.  Our visits to school are extremely popular and we have a very congested teaching itinerary for the spring and summer terms of this academic year.  We even have confirmed bookings for teaching work for the spring of 2020.

We get lots of positive feedback as demonstrated by the many testimonials that we receive.  Take for example, this email received this weekend from a Year 1 teacher after a morning of dinosaur and fossil themed activities with her class.

The teacher emailed to say:

“Just a quick email to say thank you so much for the wonderful morning we all had this morning.  The whole class absolutely loved everything.  We have learnt so many exciting dinosaur facts and it has definitely given the start of our topic the wow factor.”

The teacher went on:

“Thank you for the resources you have sent too.  We are looking forward to creating our own dinosaurs and drawing and labelling them for you amongst other things.”

Everything Dinosaur team members are happy to help where they can and we tend to bring some extra resources and teaching materials with us when we visit schools.  Our teaching team members get lots of positive feedback from teachers and teaching assistants as a result of conducting our dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools.

16 01, 2019

School Poster Promotes the Role of Women in Science

By | January 16th, 2019|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on School Poster Promotes the Role of Women in Science

School Poster Promotes the Role of Women in Science

Whilst working at a primary school in London, one of our dinosaur experts spotted this wonderful poster on display promoting the role of women in science.  Our team member was in the school hall preparing to deliver a dinosaur and fossil themed workshop to a class of Year 1 children, but prior to the session starting, he took the opportunity to take a picture of the inspirational poster.

Helping to Promote the Role of Women in Science

Promoting the role of women in science.

Primary school helping to promote the role of women in science.

Picture Credit: Ilderton Primary/Everything Dinosaur

Famous Female Scientists

The poster features four famous and influential female scientists, Rosalind Franklin who helped work out the structure of DNA, physicist Chien-Shiung Wu, astronomer Sandra Faber and Hedy Lamarr, perhaps more famous as an actress but also an accomplished inventor who helped pioneer today’s Bluetooth technology.

The poster also explains some of the key skills required to be a good scientist such as making true and fair tests, observing and predicting as well as gathering data.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This poster is a really good way of getting over to primary school girls that there are some amazing career opportunities in science.  It celebrates the role of women in the sciences and hopefully, it will encourage and inspire the next generation.  When we deliver our dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools, we often introduce the work of Mary Anning, who did so much to improve our understanding about life in the past.  Mary Anning is a fantastic role model for primary school children, as she was finding hugely significant fossils on the beach at Lyme Regis when she was about the same age as the schoolchildren.”

7 11, 2018

Flip Facts “Dino Record Breakers”

By | November 7th, 2018|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Flip Facts “Dino Record Breakers”

Flip Facts “Dinosaur Record Breakers”

Here’s a great little book all about dinosaurs, the biggest, fastest, most heavily armoured and so forth.  The book entitled “Dino Record Breakers”, consists of sixty, tough, wipe clean pages in a flip chart format that provides lots of amazing facts about dinosaurs.

The Front Cover of “Dino Record Breakers”

"Dino Record Breakers" by Darren Naish.

The front cover of the book “Dino Record Breakers” by Carlton Books.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Amazing Dinosaur Facts

Children enjoy learning lots of facts about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals and this little book caters for their needs providing details on the biggest predator, which dinosaur had the strongest bite and which was the “fuzziest” dinosaur.  The most popular dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex are featured along with some of the more obscure ones such as Pentaceratops, Edmontonia and Pelecanimimus.  Produced by Carlton Books, this publication has been written by the renowned English palaeontologist Darren Naish, so you can expect the information contained therein to be accurate.

The text is written in a child-friendly format with lots of short sentences, interspersed with diagrams, fact files and clever illustrations to help inform and to educate.

The book does not just feature dinosaurs, members of the Pterosauria such as Quetzalcoatlus and the huge marine reptile (Pliosauridae), Liopleurodon are included too.

Dinky Dinosaurs – Fruitadens – The Smallest Plant-eater

Facts about Fruitadens.

The cat-sized Fruitadens features in a book all about dinosaur record breakers.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This colourful book makes a great Christmas gift for a budding palaeontologist and a super resource for use in schools to help educate and inform children when it comes to conducting independent research on dinosaurs and compiling non-chronological reports.

Written by the famous English palaeontologist Darren Naish, Flip Facts “Dino Record Breakers” is crammed full of super dinosaur and prehistoric animal facts and information.

2 11, 2018

Ammonite Model is in Stock

By | November 2nd, 2018|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Ammonite Model is in Stock

Ammonite Model is in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

At popular request, Everything Dinosaur has brought back into stock the ammonite model.  This robust replica of an ammonite is ideal for schools and it has been used as a teaching resource in topic areas such as Year 3 (fossils, rocks and soils) and learning about Mary Anning (the famous fossil seashell collector from Lyme Regis in Dorset), in a dinosaur and fossil related term topic.

The Ammonite Replica – Model of an Ammonite

Ammonite model

The ammonite model – an excellent model for use in schools and home education.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Getting to Grips with Ammonites

Ideal for creative play, school or home study, the ammonite model measures 17 cm long from the end of the shell to the tips of the tentacles and the shell has a diameter of 9 cm. The model has been specially designed to be handled by children from three years and upwards.  A spokesperson from the teaching team at Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Ironically, models of ammonites tend to be more difficult to find than fossils of ammonites.  Children can learn about the fossil shells, but they do not know what the actual animal that lived in the shell looked like.  This child-friendly model helps young learners to appreciate that the fossils they are looking at represent the remains of living creatures that once swam in our seas and oceans.  The model helps children to understand that whilst ammonites are extinct, they are very similar to animals living in the sea today, creatures like squid, cuttlefish and octopi for example.”

The ammonite model has a 5-star rating on Everything Dinosaur’s website, a typical review for this replica:
“Very accurate model, impressive size.”

Used in Museum Displays

Everything Dinosaur also supplies this model to museums and other educational institutions.  It can often be found in display cases showing a collection of ammonite fossils.

Everything Dinosaur’s Ammonite Model on Display at a Museum

The ammonite model on display in a museum exhibit case.

The ammonite model on display at a museum helping to depict what extinct ammonites actually looked like.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Helping to Bring Science Alive

The picture (above) shows an ammonite model next to a fossil of a Jurassic ammonite on display in a museum.  The replica demonstrates what the living creature looked like and helps to bring the study of science alive and brings learning about fossils into context.

To view the ammonite model and a range of other museum quality, educational figures and replicas: Museum Line models and replicas available from Everything Dinosaur

22 09, 2018

Strawberry Fields Primary and Dinosaurs

By | September 22nd, 2018|Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Strawberry Fields Primary and Dinosaurs

Strawberry Fields Primary and Dinosaurs

To conclude a busy week for Everything Dinosaur team members there was a trip to Yorkshire to work with the enthusiastic children in Key Stage 1 at Strawberry Fields Primary.  A very colourful prehistoric animal themed window display in one of the classrooms (2MC) was spotted.  The long-necked, purple-coloured prehistoric animal was surrounded by post-it notes that the children had used to fill with dinosaur and fossil themed facts that they had researched.

A Purple Prehistoric Animal Spotted in the Classroom

Prehistoric animal window display.

Long-necked prehistoric animal spotted in the classroom (Key Stage 1 – Year 2).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Plesiosaur or Sauropod

The teachers were not sure whether their purple prehistoric animal was a plesiosaur or a long-necked dinosaur.  They thought that it resembled animal like the Loch Ness monster, but there were leaves at the base of the neck, so perhaps this was a land animal.  The children had decided that the creature was a marine reptile, a sea monster and therefore not a dinosaur but a plesiosaur.  Pupils were happy to display their knowledge and to explain that plesiosaurs were not related to Tyrannosaurus rex and that Pteranodon was not a dinosaur but a flying reptile.

The well-appointed and tidy classrooms featured lots of displays supporting the term topic “dinosaurs”.  The children in Year 1 for example, had created a dinosaur den in their classroom, there was even a crepe paper volcano in the corner.  The children confidently explained that an “asteroid had hit the Earth and this killed the dinosaurs.”

Prior to our workshops with the classes, we provided some additional teaching resources and during our dinosaur workshops we made sure to link to several extension ideas which we were also able to support with extra teaching materials.

18 09, 2018

Questions About Dinosaurs – Part 1

By | September 18th, 2018|Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Questions About Dinosaurs – Part 1

Questions About Dinosaurs – Part 1

As Everything Dinosaur prepares to visit Ewloe Green Primary in Flintshire, to work with the enthusiastic Year 1 children as they learn about dinosaurs, their teacher arranged to email over a set of questions that the children had prepared.

Questions from the Year 1 Children

Why do dinosaurs have spikes on their backs? Isabelle.
Why do some dinosaurs have four legs and some not? Amelia.
Why do some dinosaurs have armour? Cora.
Why do some have arms? Emily
Why do some walk in a clumsy fashion? Lily
Why do some have horns? Sorcha
Why do some only eat plants? Paige
Why do some dinosaurs fly? Emma
Why do some run really fast? Harri
Why do they fight? Lyla-Brooke
Why are some vegetarian? Isaac
Why do they have sharp teeth? Riya
Why are they all different sizes? Scarlett
Why do some have long tails? Jac
Why do some have such a long neck? Olly
Why do some have arms? Charlotte
Why do they leave footprints and how? Noah
Why do they have tails? Katelyn
Why do they have claws? Leah

That’s a lot of questions for our dinosaur and fossil experts to work through.  Some of these questions can be incorporated into our dinosaur workshops that we are preparing for the classes, but we will tackle a couple of questions here, just to help the budding young scientists as they explore life in the past.

Why Do Dinosaurs Have Claws?

Our thanks to Leah for this question.   There were lots of different dinosaurs and they all had claws of various shapes and sizes.  These claws may have originally come about to help protect the fingers and toes of the dinosaur ancestors as they walked about on land.  However, claws soon evolved into different shapes and sizes.  Some dinosaurs such as the meat-eaters, developed sharp claws on their toes and hands to help them catch their dinners, whilst other dinosaurs such as some of the plant-eaters had claws like hooves to help them as they walked along.  Even giants like Brontosaurus had a big toe claw, it may have used this claw as a weapon to keep it safe from other dinosaurs, but this claw also helped this dinosaur to walk safely across muddy ground without slipping in the same way that football boots have studs on the bottom.

Different Dinosaurs/Different Claws

Different dinosaurs different claws.

The different types of claws of dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Cool Fact – Your fingernails are made from the same stuff as dinosaur claws (it is called keratin).

Why Do Dinosaurs Have Tails?

All the dinosaurs discovered so far had tails.  The tails of dinosaurs came in all shapes and sizes.  Some dinosaurs had very long tails that they might have used as whips to help keep them safe from attacking meat-eaters.  Fast running dinosaurs used their tails to help them balance when they sprinted.  Other dinosaurs evolved tails with a bony club on the end which they could use as a weapon.  Some feathered dinosaurs even had tails that they could use to display and to show-off with, just like the tail of a peacock!

Different Dinosaurs/Different Tails

Dinosaurs with different tails.

Different dinosaurs with different tails.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Cool Fact – Our distant ancestors had tails too.  The bump that you can feel at the bottom of your back is your tail bone (it is called the coccyx).

For Teacher

  • Can you find pictures of dinosaurs with different claws?  Can you sort them into groups?  What sort of describing words will you use for each group – sharp claws, blunt claws, big claws, small claws?
  • Look at pictures of animals alive today, can you find examples of different tails?  What might these animals use their tails for?
9 09, 2018

Getting to Grips with a K-W-L Strategy

By | September 9th, 2018|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Getting to Grips with a K-W-L Strategy

Everything Dinosaur Helps Out Primary School with K-W-L Strategy

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been approached by a primary school teacher to help her introduce a term topic all about dinosaurs for her Year 1 class.  The teacher wants to utilise a K-W-L strategy to establish the topic and to identify what the children already know about prehistoric animals and to use the results to direct learning over the coming weeks.

The Use of a K-W-L Strategy in the Classroom

A K-W-L chart spotted in a school.

Children prepare questions for Everything Dinosaur.  The use of K-W-L in a classroom.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Defining a K-W-L Strategy

A K-W-L strategy is essentially a tabular method of assessing the level of knowledge that children have at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of a period of work.  It can be implemented over a term topic such as “Dinosaur Planet” or “Jurassic Forest” or it can be used at the individual lesson level.

K-W-L – examines:

  1. What the children know = K
  2. What the children would like to learn about = W
  3. What the children have learned = L

A Three-part Strategy for Learning

This teaching tool gives pupils an opportunity to make connections between different topic areas, it appeals to visual learners and allows the teaching team to shape the subject to suit the needs and requirements of the class.  It allows the teacher to identify what prior subject knowledge the children possess, in the case of dinosaurs, it is surprising how much information the children know and are very enthusiastic to divulge.  The K-W-L strategy can help to guide lesson planning and to focus on appropriate teaching strategies to address the lack of knowledge uncovered during the mapping exercise.

Mind Maps Can Support a K-W-L Strategy

A KWL chart on dinosaurs.

What we know about dinosaurs (K-W-L chart).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Experts Answer Questions

In order to help support the teacher, Everything Dinosaur team members have promised to answer emails from the children in support of their enquiries about dinosaurs and life in the past.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The teacher can include the children emailing our dinosaur and fossil experts within their lesson planning.  The use of email to answer the children’s questions can help incorporate and develop the ICT element of the curriculum.”

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