A Day of Dinosaurs and Fossils

Situated in the heart of rural Wiltshire is the delightful village of Great Wishford.  Many of the rocks used as local building materials were laid down during the Jurassic geological period.  Children at Great Wishford Primary have just started learning about dinosaurs and fossils, quite appropriate really, when the school is situated in a part of the world renowned for its Jurassic marine fossils.  The children are living in their very own “Jurassic Park”.

A Dinosaur and Fossil Day

The children in the mixed Reception and Year 1 class had been challenged to build their own dinosaur over the half-term break.  The models made an excellent display in the classroom.  Lots of different materials had been used in the project, the children (and their grown-up helpers) can be very proud of their efforts.

Half-term Project Building Prehistoric Animal Models

Dinosaur and fossil day at Great Wishford Primary school.

Dinosaur and fossil models on display in a classroom. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Great Preparation for the Next Term Topic

Dinosaur and prehistoric animal figures in the classroom.

An amazing collection of prehistoric animal models made by the children. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Workshops with Year5/6 and Reception/Year 1

The morning was spent working with the children in Upper Key Stage 2.  The focus was on developing the concept of working scientifically, using evidence to formulate ideas and theories.  Our lesson plan had been prepared with the aim of enriching the scheme of work that had been prepared by the dedicated teaching team.

Themes such as extinction, evolution, adaptation and natural selection were covered and the class was given the chance to look at a real palaeontological puzzle as they tried to work out, based on the fossil evidence, what a prehistoric fish had for its dinner!

What Had a Prehistoric Fish Had for its Dinner?

Papo Megalodon model

The Papo Otodus megalodon model in anterior view. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows a Papo prehistoric shark model.

To view the range of Papo prehistoric animal figures: Papo Prehistoric Animal Models.

A Provocation Session

In the afternoon, it was the turn of the Reception and Year 1 children, an opportunity to provide a provocation session to kick-start the dinosaur themed term topic.  The enthusiastic children moved quietly through the forest and employed their super-power when a Tyrannosaurus rex was looking for something to eat.

They learned that most fossils feel cold when you first touch them and that some fossils can be big or even massive!  Over the course of the day we proposed a series of age-appropriate extension activities to help support the well-crated term topic plans of the teaching team.  The children in Year 5/6 were challenged to research the story of the Coelacanth and to look at the evidence that helps support the theory that the dinosaurs are not actually extinct.  The mixed Reception and Year 1 class were challenged to have a go a drawing their very own dinosaur, but they had to label the body parts including the skull.

A Scale Drawing of a Coelacanth

Scale drawing of a Coelacanth. What is a Coelacanth?

A scale drawing of a Coelacanth.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The well-organised and tidy classrooms were most impressive and the care and attention the school staff had taken to create exciting and rewarding learning environments was clearly evident.  Lots of different activities supporting the learning needs of the children had been prepared.  For example, in the Reception/Year 1 classroom the outline of a long-necked dinosaur (Sauropoda) had been created on the floor using masking tape.  The dinosaur’s tail stuck out into the corridor!  This simple exercise can help children to appreciate just how big some dinosaurs were as well as helping to reinforce differences between ourselves and animals.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Everything Dinosaur.