Christmas is on the Way
Shops have been selling Christmas lights and novelties since, August. Barely has all the paraphernalia of Halloween and Bonfire Night been cleared away before they are replaced in the aisles by Christmas trees and other accessories, deemed essential for the festive season.
For us however, there is one sure fire sign that Christmas is on the way and that it is time for us to start our shopping and making arrangements for the holiday season. Schools, youth clubs, and other organisations get in touch wanting us to make an appearance at their various money raising events that take place this time of year. Our first event of what we call our “Christmas season” is taking place tonight at a school just a few miles from our warehouse. It is an evening event, starting at around 7pm with a scheduled finish at about 10pm. It is going to be another late night for team members at Everything Dinosaur.
This time of year we tend to get bombarded with requests, after all there are not many organisations that can bring fossils and dinosaur replica teeth and claws into schools. The parents are often as fascinated by these artefacts as the children. Personally, school visits are a little more satisfying as we can really brighten up and enhance a teaching session. For example, when children are learning about the concept of deep time, we have a clock exercise that takes them through their school day but relates it to a time scale dating from 720 million years ago so that they can appreciate the enormous lengths of geological time involved but from the perspective of a typical day in their own lives. For instance, using our exercise, the dinosaurs evolved around 8.10am or perhaps more pertinently for a school child, not long after breakfast and shortly before they had to leave for school.
By using techniques such as this children can relate to the concepts that we are trying to get across. When we draw out a scale of geological time and they get the chance to put the different types of animal and plants that evolved in chronological order, everybody has the chance to get involved. There are a large number of schools up and down the country with murals depicting key events in evolution.
That reminds me, before I leave for the event tonight I must remember to remove the sauropod coprolite from our exhibit cases. Dinosaur doings always fascinate.