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

Everything Dinosaur team members working in schools, helping museums and other educational bodies. Our work with and in schools.

24 10, 2019

Reception Children Make Dinosaur Landscapes

By | October 24th, 2019|Early Years Foundation Reception|Comments Off on Reception Children Make Dinosaur Landscapes

Reception Children Make Dinosaur Landscapes

The children in the three Reception classes at Broughton Primary (Flintshire), have certainly enjoyed learning about dinosaurs this term.  A team member from Everything Dinosaur visited the school this morning to deliver three dinosaur and fossil themed workshops to help round off the scheme of work for the first half of the autumn term.

During the visit, our team member was shown some amazing dinosaur landscapes that the children had built.

Children in Class 1 (Reception) have Created a Prehistoric Landscape

The prehistoric landscape built by class 1 (Reception).

Dosbarth 1 (Class 1) had built their own prehistoric landscape.

Picture Credit: Dosbarth 1, Broughton Primary School

The Reception classes have been learning about animals and what they need to keep them safe and happy.  The children created a river to allow the dinosaurs to catch fish to eat.  The river would also provide water for the prehistoric animals to drink.  The plant-eating dinosaurs have plenty of leaves to chew but all the dinosaurs have to be careful as the volcano has erupted and bright red lava is spilling out down its slopes.

Class 1 Children Constructed a Volcano as part of their Dinosaur Landscape Project

A crepe paper volcano built by Reception children.

The volcano, part of the prehistoric landscape created by the Reception class children.

Picture Credit: Dosbarth 1, Broughton Primary School

Class 3 also constructed a home for their dinosaur models.  Their very own version of “Jurassic Park” included a big forest for the dinosaurs to hide in so that they felt safe and a huge cave for them to explore.  The hard hats we provided with the lamps on their front might come in handy when it comes to exploring the depths of the cavern.

The Prehistoric Scene Created by Class 3 (Dosbarth 3)

Reception class 3 and their prehistoric landscape.

The prehistoric scene created by class 3 (Dosbarth 3).

Picture Credit: Dosbarth 1, Broughton Primary School

The Reception classes enjoyed their dinosaur workshops and demonstrated some amazing counting and recall of dinosaur facts during the morning.  We hope they like the dinosaur hokey cokey activity we provided too.

21 10, 2019

A Red T. rex Head

By | October 21st, 2019|General Teaching|Comments Off on A Red T. rex Head

A Red T. rex Head

Our congratulations to young Caldey who sent into Everything Dinosaur an illustration of one of her favourite dinosaurs – Tyrannosaurus rex.

An Illustration of T. rex by Caldey

A red-headed Tyrannosaurus rex.

A colourful and very detailed illustration of the head of a tyrannosaurid dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Caldey

The artist has taken great care to illustrate this dinosaur.  Lots of amazing detail such as different shaped scales on the skull and the bony ridges over the orbit (eye socket) can be seen in this line drawing.  Our congratulations to Caldey for creating such a super dinosaur illustration.

Everything Dinosaur team members receive lots of dinosaur themed drawings. Our thanks to Caldey for sending in a rather splendid red-headed Tyrannosaurus rex illustration.

14 10, 2019

Autumn Dinosaurs

By | October 14th, 2019|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Autumn Dinosaurs

Dinosaur Display Made from Leaves

Lots of Key Stage 1 children and Reception classes have been learning about dinosaurs this term.  On one of our many school visits a dinosaur expert at Everything Dinosaur spotted a colourful display of prehistoric animals that had been created using leaves.   It seems that dinosaurs are even becoming involved in forest school activities, all part of creative, imaginative and thoroughly engaging teaching schemes of work.

A Dinosaur Created from Autumn Leaves

A dinosaur leaf monster.

Dinosaurs depicted in leaves.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We come across lots of wonderful and creative curricular during our visits to schools.  We congratulate the teaching team for combining the term topic all about dinosaurs and fossils to learning about the changing environment and seasons.  This really is a great example of creative cross-curricular teaching.”

A Dinosaur Leaf Monster

Dinosaur leaf monster.

A T. rex made from leaves.  A fearsome looking Tyrannosaurus rex created using autumn leaves.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

17 09, 2019

Preparing for a School Visit

By | September 17th, 2019|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Teaching|0 Comments

Preparing for a Fossil Workshop

The autumn term is well underway and team members at Everything Dinosaur are busy conducting dinosaur themed and fossil workshops in schools, catering for a wide range of different age groups.  This week, our team members will be dealing with the eager and very excitable Early Years Foundation Stage classes (Nursery and Reception), as well as working with slightly more mature (we hope), students in Key Stages 3 and 4.

One of the things we have been asked to discuss with the students in year nine and ten that we will be working with this week, is potential career options in the Earth sciences.  This is certainly a very broad subject and we hope to provide some pointers.  We have been brushing up on our knowledge regarding career paths as well as brushing up some rather beautiful Dactylioceras ammonite fossils that we intend to use in a short exercise looking at taphonomy and the importance of index fossils.

Selecting Fossils to Use in Our Exercise with Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 Students

Ammonite fossils (Dactylioceras).

A selection of ammonite fossils to be used in an exercise exploring the role of index fossils with science students.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

12 09, 2019

Year 1 Children Find Fossils

By | September 12th, 2019|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Year 1 Children Find Fossils

The children in Year 1 at St Joseph’s Primary (Lancashire), had a morning of pretending to be palaeontologists as their autumn term topic “Dinosaur Planet” was kicked-off in style.  The friendly staff had prepared a scheme of work all about dinosaurs, an area of learning used elsewhere in the school, as the Nursery children (EYFS), would also be studying Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus et al over the course of the academic year.

Prior to our visit to conduct a morning of dinosaur and fossil themed activities with the enthusiastic children, the teaching team had challenged the class to record in their topic books what they knew about these long extinct animals.  Our dinosaur expert was impressed with the neatness of the handwriting, how well the letters had been formed and the appropriate finger spacing between words.

“Dinosaur Planet” – What I Know About Dinosaurs

At the start of the dinosaur topic the Year 1 children recorded what they know about dinosaurs.

At the start of the dinosaur topic the Year 1 children recorded what they know about dinosaurs.  For example, one pupil wrote that dinosaurs are related to reptiles – that’s right, the Dinosauria are indeed a diverse group of reptiles.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Why Did Diplodocus Have a Long Neck?

As part of the writing exercise, referred to as KWL:

  • what I know?
  • what I want to know?
  • what have I learned?  An opportunity to check understanding at the end of the topic.

The year 1 children wanted to know why did a Diplodocus have a long neck?

Why Did a Diplodocus Have a Long Neck?

CollectA rearing Diplodocus dinosaur figure.

During the morning of dinosaur themed activities, the school visitor from Everything Dinosaur made sure to answer the question about the neck of Diplodocus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The first part of the morning involved visual and kinaesthetic learning with lots of physical exercises to help reinforce learning.  In the second part of the workshop, which was conducted in the classroom, the children were given the opportunity to find their own fossils.  The eager young palaeontologists found lots of fossils in our special challenge, teeth from prehistoric sharks, pieces of fossilised turtle shell, lots of ammonites and even some armour from a Jurassic crocodile!

The Children Demonstrated Lots of Pre-knowledge

Year 1 KWL exercise at the start of the dinosaur term topic.

KWL exercise (Year 1 term topic).  The Year 1 children were keen to demonstrate their knowledge about dinosaurs, even a Gallimimus was mentioned.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We are confident that the budding young palaeontologists at St Joseph’s Primary are going to really enjoy their autumn term topic.

3 09, 2019

Colourful Creative Dinosaurs

By | September 3rd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Colourful Creative Dinosaurs

Our thanks to young Nataliya (Year 2), who sent into Everything Dinosaur a beautiful illustration of a dinosaur that she had designed following a visit to her school by one of our team members.  Nataliya and her classmates had taken up our challenge to design a dinosaur as part of an extension exercise that arose following one of our dinosaur and fossil workshops at the school.  The dinosaur was named “spikeraptor” and despite its fearsome name, Nataliya explained that this dinosaur was a herbivore and even included a picture of some leaves that the dinosaur was grazing upon in her prehistoric portrait.

A Colourful Dinosaur Design – “Spikeraptor”

A colourful green dinosaur - Spikeraptor the product of the imagination of young Nataliya (Key Stage 1).

A colourful green dinosaur – Spikeraptor the product of the imagination of young Nataliya (Year 2).

Picture Credit: Nataliya (Key Stage 1) and Everything Dinosaur

Lovely Labels!

As part of a writing exercise we asked the children to label their prehistoric animal’s body parts.  Nataliya was keen to emphasis the spikes and prickles on her dinosaur and our congratulations to Nataliya and the rest of the class for sending in some super drawings with fantastic examples of handwriting.  These drawings have made our day and we shall post them up in our warehouse so that all the Everything Dinosaur team members can view them.

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.

6 08, 2019

Protecting the Dinosaurs of the Isle of Skye

By | August 6th, 2019|General Teaching|Comments Off on Protecting the Dinosaurs of the Isle of Skye

Further Legal Protection for Isle of Skye Dinosaurs

The internationally-recognised fossil bearing strata that dates from the Middle Jurassic on the Isle of Skye has been granted greater legal protection.  Earlier this month, the Scottish Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon signed a Nature Conservation Order (NCO), aimed at protecting globally significant vertebrate fossil sites on the Scottish Island.

Many Dinosaur Fossils Including Footprints have been Discovered on the Isle of Skye

A three-toed (tridactyl) dinosaur footprint dating from the Middle Jurassic on the Isle of Skye.

A dinosaur footprint on the Isle of Skye.

Picture Credit: Colin MacFadyen (Scottish National Heritage)

The principle aim of the Nature Conservation Order is to prevent rare vertebrate fossils such as dinosaur footprints and bones, along with marine reptiles and fossil evidence of early mammals, being collected and removed by non-authorised parties.  The Nature Conservation Order also aims to encourage local people and the wider public, including the thousands of tourists that visit Skye each year, to take an interest in and report any potentially important fossil discoveries.

29 07, 2019

A Komodo Dragon Drawing

By | July 29th, 2019|General Teaching|Comments Off on A Komodo Dragon Drawing

A Komodo Dragon Drawing

Our thanks to young Caldey for sending into us a superb illustration of a Komodo dragon, the largest living lizard in the world today, with some individuals attaining lengths of around 3 metres and weighing as much as 75 kilogrammes.

An Illustration of a Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)

Komodo dragon drawing.

An illustration of a Komodo dragon.

Picture Credit: Caldey

“Land Crocodile”

When first described by Europeans in the early years of the 20th century, this large lizard was thought to be a form of “land crocodile”.  Scientist now know that the Komodo dragon is a member of the monitor lizard family, although how it evolved is a bit of a mystery.  As it is restricted to a handful of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, it had been thought that a lack of other large carnivores in its habitat enabled this lizard to reach such a large size.  However, some scientists now think that the Komodo dragon is part of a long line of large, ground dwelling monitor lizards that inhabited south-eastern Asia and Australia for several million years.  If this is the case the Komodo dragon represents the last of this evolutionary line, “a dead clade walking”.  Listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, its range has contracted due to human activity, but it has protected status within Indonesia and there are controversial plans to reduce the human population on Komodo by forcing villagers to locate elsewhere in order to protect this species.

Our thanks to Caldey for providing us with such a super Komodo dragon drawing.

5 07, 2019

“Footprints from the Past”

By | July 5th, 2019|General Teaching|Comments Off on “Footprints from the Past”

International Primary Curriculum “Footprints from the Past”

Plans are well advanced for dinosaur and fossil themed workshops to be delivered in the new academic year.  Team members are busy with their lesson planning and preparations including writing schemes of work to support the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the topic area “Footprints from the Past”.

Everything Dinosaur staff have prepared workshops for Foundation Stage classes through to Upper Key Stage 2, helping to enthuse and motivate, working with classes when the children will be investigating dinosaurs and fossils.

Dinosaurs and Fossils Provides Lots of Cross-curricular Learning Opportunities

Learning about dinosaurs

Children excited to be learning about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We do a lot of work with schools and our workshops are built around the International Primary Curriculum aims and objectives including developing writing skills, aiding literacy, exploring ideas, problem solving, building confidence and encouraging an understanding of materials and the wider world.  There is certainly a big “wow factor” with a visit from ourselves but everything our teaching team does, attempts to reinforce learning and help achieve the teaching outcomes required.

Footprints from the Past

The “Big Idea” behind this element of the IPC curriculum entitled Footprints from the Past, is that nobody has ever seen a living a dinosaur and therefore how do we know so much about them?  This introduces the concept of “dinosaur detectives”, challenging the class to explore ideas and to work scientifically.

From a scientific perspective, dinosaurs are technically not extinct.  So, when working with Lower Key Stage 2 for example, we like to challenge their understanding of dinosaurs and extinction, develop some themes through the tactile, visual and kinaesthetic elements of the class workshop and then set the class extension activities based around exploring some of the ideas that we have covered.

Did an Extra-terrestrial Impact Wipe Out All the Dinosaurs?

Asteroid impact crater.

Theories for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur is manned by teachers and real fossil experts and we visit schools to conduct dinosaur and fossil themed workshops whilst working with the learning objectives and intended outcomes as set by the teaching team.  We undertake a lot of work in support of the pupil premium in England.  We add into our workshops real aspects of palaeontology, enabling children to experience some of the science behind the study of dinosaurs, fossils and other extinct animals.  Our costs are made up of a subsidised amount for the teacher/palaeontologist’s time, plus travelling expenses and a small charge to cover the packing of fossils and any materials used.

It looks like our team members are going to have very busy autumn and spring terms.

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