Key Stage 1 Pupils Learn All About Fossils

For Key Stage 1 pupils at Bentley High Street Primary, their dinosaur themed term topic was rounded off by a visit from the dinosaur and fossil experts at Everything Dinosaur.  The Year 1 and Year 2 pupils had been studying dinosaurs as the term topic and the children had clearly enjoyed the topic and learned a lot.  The Year one pupils in classes 1G and 1H showed lots of examples of their writing, poster art and data tables that they had produced.  Mrs Gallacher (teacher 1G), had even turned part of her classroom into a dinosaur museum so that the children’s work could be displayed.

The Dinosaur Museum in Class 1G

Key Stage 1 pupils display their work.

Key Stage 1 pupils display their work.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Bentley High Street Primary

A dinosaur term topic permits the learning support providers to introduce some basic scientific concepts such as food chains as well as exploring living and extinct creatures and making comparisons between them.  It lends itself to lots of creative writing extension activities as well as helping to enthuse the children about maths and numbers, after all, what six year old can refuse a maths quiz that involves counting and then subtracting plates from a Stegosaurus or the playing of a counting game with our dinosaur experts which involves the teeth from a very large, meat-eating dinosaur.

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The teachers with the support of the teaching assistants had posted up a number of cards with key words and phrases to do with dinosaurs and fossils.  Our dinosaur expert was happy to assist and advise when it came to this extension activity.  For instance, words such as herbivore, omnivore and carnivore were explained, with the children looking at their own teeth to see their different shapes.  This dovetails into the teaching objectives and aims of the Key Stage 1 science syllabus which involves learning about animals and habitats.

 There were examples of the children’s work, how data can be presented using simple tables and very colourful bar graphs and some applied maths on display all allied to the teaching aims for children in Year 1 (aged from five to six years).

There was also a lot of very beautiful artwork on display.  We had suggested using white tissue paper to make a piece of art with the tissue representing the bones of the prehistoric animal.  The tissue paper was rolled into various shapes and stuck onto brown sugar paper.   The skeleton, our “Tissue-oh-saurus” made a lovely display.  Such simple illustrations are a great way to get the children to remember different parts of the body.

A “Tissue-oh-saurus” Created by Key Stage 1 Pupils

An innovative use of cheap and readily available teaching resources.

An innovative use of cheap and readily available teaching resources.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Bentley High Street Primary

We suggested that the skeleton should be labelled by the children to help reinforce learning about different parts of the body.

Year 2 children were keen to demonstrate their learning and we quizzed them on ideas as to why the dinosaurs became extinct.  One of the walls of the classroom (2S) had a fantastic dinosaur diorama on display.  The mural was very colourful and when we showed the teeth of a Tyrannosaurus rex, the pupils were quick to point out how accurate their wall mural was.

Year 2 Children Produced a Super Dinosaur Themed Display

Colourful dinosaurs on display.

Colourful dinosaurs on display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Bentley High Street Primary

The teaching team thanked our team members for their help with the term topic and later on that day, we emailed over some further information and teaching extension ideas, just as we had promised.

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