The Step Up from Reception to Year 1

At the start of the Autumn Term, many Year 1 teachers might be struggling to come to terms with the fact that their recently arrived charges from the Reception Year might not quite be ready for more structured work.  This can often be a problem, as whilst in Reception, the children will have been involved in much more free flowing activity.  Starting the Autumn with a term topic all about dinosaurs could help to provide a solution.  Many of the children will already have a knowledge of prehistoric animals and their fascination for these ancient creatures can be used to help the children adjust to a more formal scheme of work.

A Dinosaur Display

A Year 1 Classroom Ready for the Autumn Term Topic of Dinosaurs

Dinosaur display at school.

Bite-sized facts and information.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaurs as a teaching topic lends itself to all sorts of exciting and rewarding structured activities for young children as they make the transition from free flowing teaching to a more learning objective based classroom environment.

A Range of Dinosaur Themed Activities

  • Letter recognition exercises using dinosaur names
  • Sorting dinosaur models by shape (more capable learners might be able to sort out plant-eaters and meat-eaters)
  • Dinosaur themed counting games
  • Looking up pictures of dinosaurs on the internet or in books
  • Writing dinosaur facts
  • Making dinosaur models from cardboard, modelling clay or pasta shapes
  • Dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed drawing exercises
  • Making fossils
  • Digging for dinosaurs in the sandbox
  • Comparing our hands to the footprints of dinosaurs
  • Gathering plants and leaves for the plant-eating dinosaurs
  • Building a “Jurassic Park” in the classroom for the children’s dinosaur toys (a great way to introduce concepts such as habitats, food webs and what animals need to survive)

Everything Dinosaur provides a huge range of free, downloads to help teachers and home educationalists, simply contact us: Email Everything Dinosaur.

Dinosaurs as a Term Topic

Dinosaurs as a term topic can really help young children to adjust to a more formal way of working, the topic area also enthuses the teaching team.  After all, who doesn’t want to know how big Tyrannosaurus rex was or how many Year 1 children could be squeezed into the stomach of an Ankylosaurus (an armoured plant-eating dinosaur, discussed in Everything Dinosaur’s workshop for schools).

The children could even create their own dinosaur museum to showcase their craft, hand-writing and numeracy achievements.  Having the children think about their own “Golden Rules” for the museum might also be a way of helping them to settle down within the classroom environment.  Why not invite parents, guardians and grandparents into the school at the end of term to see the children’s progress?

A Year 2 Dinosaur Display – Helping Year 1 to Adjust to More Formal, Structured Working

A dinosaur display.

Colourful, creative dinosaurs.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

For inspiring dinosaur themed learning resources: Dinosaur Themed Learning Resources from Everything Dinosaur.

A dinosaur themed term topic can certainly help Reception children step up to the greater demands placed upon them by the Autumn Term of Year 1.