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

Pictures and photos of Everything Dinosaur’s teaching activities and our work with other educational bodies.

6 12, 2023

A Dinosaur Themed Teaching Activity

By | December 6th, 2023|Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Photos/Schools|0 Comments

Whilst sorting our image archive, we came across a super example of a dinosaur themed teaching activity. In December 2019 Everything Dinosaur visited Greenhill Primary in Bury (Greater Manchester). The teaching team had invited us in to help with the Year 1 term topic. The children had been learning all about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. One of the areas of learning the teachers wanted to focus upon was improving literacy.

Dinosaur themed teaching activity.
A super example of a dinosaur themed activity helping to support Year 1 literacy. This example was spotted on a visit to Greenhill Primary in Bury. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Themed Teaching Activity

The dedicated and enthusiastic teaching team had prepared a comprehensive term topic. A topic that would appeal to a variety of learning styles. The children were excited and keen to demonstrate their knowledge.

Dinosaurs appeal to children. Many are fascinated by them, and a clever term topic can really engage young minds. If the children are motivated and enthused, they will quickly develop new skills and gain confidence with writing and reading.

The colourful drawings of prehistoric animals posted around the classroom helped to encourage the pupils in their own creative writing.

The award-winning Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur.

3 06, 2023

Mary Anning Inspires Spectacular Garden Design

By | June 3rd, 2023|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Famous Figures, Main Page, Photos/Schools|0 Comments

A garden inspired by Mary Anning has won an award at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden created by Sandhurst Garden Design has been awarded a bronze. The award-winning container garden was designed by first-time exhibitors Julie and Andrew Haylock.

Mary Anning garden.
The award-winning Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. A garden inspired by the pioneering palaeontologist from Lyme Regis. The carefully selected plants including specimens of plants similar to those that existed in the Mesozoic is set against a backdrop that reflects the cliffs of Lyme Regis. Picture credit: Rachel Moffett Photography.

The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden

The Yeovil-based garden design business wanted to create a container garden that reflected the work of Mary Anning, highlighting her contribution to the science of palaeontology. The theme for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show is encouraging young people to get involved in gardening. The husband-and-wife design team created an outdoor learning space for primary school students to help them explore nature.

Carved wooden seats for the students and their teacher echo the fern-dominated planting of the garden. Set amongst moss-covered tree stumps planted with Jurassic effect is a replica of a plesiosaur fossil. Mary Anning discovered an almost complete fossil of a plesiosaur in 1823.

Mary Anning Garden
A replica of the skeleton of a plesiosaur can be found in the garden along with the “she sells seashells” verse. Picture credit: Rachel Moffett Photography.

Mary and her family members made several significant and highly influential fossil discoveries. Ichthyosaur remains (another type of marine reptile), were uncovered and in December 1828, the first pterosaur fossil discovery in England was made by Mary Anning.

For models and replicas of plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs and pterosaurs visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.

Prehistoric Plants

A variety of plants were incorporated into the outdoor space. Ferns selected include Blechnum spicant,
Dryopteris wallichiana “Jurassic Gold”, Asplenium scolopendrium, and Asplenium trichomanes. An example of the evergreen Pseudopanax crassifolius was included along with the tree fern Dicksonia antarctica.

In addition, a Wollemia Pine specimen featured. This ancient tree lineage is thought to date back to the Early Jurassic. It was believed to be extinct, until a small group of trees was discovered in a deep gorge located in a temperate rainforest in New South Wales. Although commonly referred to as a pine, this tree is a member of the Araucariaceae and more closely related to the Araucaria (Monkey Puzzle Tree).

Mary Anning garden.
A geology hammer and a wicker basket similar to the one used by Mary Anning can be found in the garden. Picture credit: Rachel Moffett Photography.

Providing a Legacy

Stone replica ammonite shells are dotted around the garden and the large crazy paving stones are engraved by the “She Sells Seashells” tongue-twister, which is thought to have been written in honour of Mary Anning.

Having been part of the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the garden will live on. Parts of it are being transplanted to Charmouth Primary School, close to Lyme Regis. Schoolchildren will be able to continue to enjoy elements of the garden and perhaps they may be inspired to follow in Mary’s footsteps.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is a beautiful garden design. We are delighted to hear that it was awarded a bronze medal. Our congratulations to all the people who helped create this inspirational garden.”

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the RHS in the compilation of this article.

To visit the website of the garden designers: Sandhurst Garden Design.

17 05, 2023

Cave Art Recreated by Pupils

By | May 17th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Educational Activities, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Photos/Schools, Teaching|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur team members were reviewing some wonderful examples of cave art created by Year 3 and Year 4 pupils. The children attended Bowlee Community Primary, and they had been studying life in the Stone Age. As part of an exciting and diverse term topic the children had recreated cave paintings.

Cave art recreated by pupils.
A wonderful example of “Stone Age” cave art recreated by pupils at Bowlee Community Primary. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Recreating Cave Art

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur recalled visiting the school in 2017 and again in 2018. He praised the teaching team for their dedication and enthusiasm. The examples of the Stone Age drawings had been put on display outside the classroom. The children explained that they had enjoyed learning about their ancestors. They enjoyed creating the cave art and they were fascinated by the pictures of real cave art their teacher had shown them.

For inspirational teaching resources visit Everything Dinosaur’s child-friendly website: Everything Dinosaur.

18 10, 2022

A Dinosaur Poem

By | October 18th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Educational Activities, Main Page, Photos/Schools, Teaching|0 Comments

Whilst sorting through the company’s extensive teaching database a picture of a dinosaur poem spotted during a school visit was found. During a routine tidy up of the images associated with Everything Dinosaur’s work in school, a poem about a Triceratops written by a young schoolgirl called Grace was discovered.

A Dinosaur Poem.  Developing Language and Communication Skills
“Three horned Face” has a poem written about it. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Helping to Gain Confidence with Writing

Dinosaurs and prehistoric animals provide a rewarding and satisfying term topic for many teachers of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils. The children approach the topic with enthusiasm and demonstrate lots of knowledge. The term topic lends itself to extensive activities related to English, maths and artwork as well as science. A dinosaur term topic can help children develop confidence with numeracy and literacy.

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have become quite creative in their support for teachers and teaching assistants. For example, fossil shark teeth have been used to make unusual “greater than” and “less than” symbols to help young children gain more confidence when using numbers.

Fossil shark teeth used to help demonstrate symbols in maths.
Fossils used to make mathematical symbols for use in schools. Greater than and less than thanks to Otodus megalodon. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

A Dinosaur Poem

Team members have come across many instances of dinosaurs inspiring young poets to write prose. Many of the children’s poems have been posted up on the walls of the classroom and they make bright and colourful displays.

Dinosaur poems
Prehistoric Animal Poems. Helping children to gain confidence with writing and literacy. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

A spokesperson for the UK-based, dinosaur company commented that over the years of delivering dinosaur themed workshops and supporting teachers, team members had come across some amazing examples of prehistoric animal themed poems.

Whether limericks, free verse or even Japanese inspired poetry forms such as haiku, Everything Dinosaur team members have always tried to encourage and inspire children.

To view the extensive range of prehistoric animal models and toys, all approved by the company’s teaching team, visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Visit Everything Dinosaur’s Website.

17 10, 2022

Inaccurate Teaching Materials

By | October 17th, 2022|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, General Teaching, Main Page, Photos/Schools, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur team members have visited many schools. Unfortunately, during our travels we have come across many instances of inaccurate teaching materials. Educational budgets are stretched as never before and it always disappoints team members when they discover inaccurate information about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals being used in schools.

Take for example, this teaching aid downloaded and used by a school, which we came across a few years ago during a dinosaur workshop at the school.

Inaccurate teaching materials
Unfortunately, some of the dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed teaching resources available in the UK are wildly inaccurate. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture makes a statement about dinosaurs. The fossil record does provide evidence to support the idea that like other reptiles, dinosaurs were scaly. However, the prehistoric animal depicted on the “fact card” is a pterosaur and pterosaurs are not members of the Dinosauria.

Inaccurate Teaching Materials

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that team members regularly came across inaccurate and misleading information about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals in schools.

The spokesperson added:

“Organisations compile teaching materials and sell these to schools and nurseries. Unfortunately, some of the learning materials contain obvious errors and inaccuracies. When we come across these materials, we do our best to point them out to the teaching team and to offer them, free of charge, replacement teaching materials that more accurately reflect the fossil record.”

Contact Everything Dinosaur team members for advice about teaching materials: Email Everything Dinosaur Team Members.

Providing Support for Teachers and Teaching Assistants

As well as providing support for teachers and teaching assistants, Everything Dinosaur team members have assisted parents who are home educating their children. We have provided helpful teaching resources and provided links to other sources of accurate facts about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. Everything Dinosaur has also provided information about museums, events and exhibitions to visit many of which are free.

The company also provides a range of dinosaur themed toys and games including replicas of iconic animals preserved in the fossil record: Dinosaur Toys, Replicas Fossils and Gifts.

The spokesperson added that team members remained committed to helping where they could and they answered swiftly and promptly all the emails and enquiries that they received.

11 10, 2022

Fossils and Rocks with Year 3

By | October 11th, 2022|Educational Activities, General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Photos/Schools, Teaching|0 Comments

Whilst examining some old files on the Everything Dinosaur database, team members came across a picture of a wonderful dinosaur themed wall display at Pebble Brook Primary, when Everything Dinosaur visited to conduct a workshop all about dinosaurs, fossils and rocks.

The children had been studying soils, rocks and fossils as part of their work during the autumn term and to start the topic with an event, a team member was invited to the school to lead a series of dinosaur and fossil themed workshops for the day.

During a pause in the busy schedule, a photograph of a very colourful wall display created by the children was taken.

A Delightful and Colourful Dinosaur Wall Display

Fossils and rocks studied by Year 3 pupils.
Year 3 children learn about dinosaurs, fossils, rocks and volcanoes in a term topic entitled “Dinosaurs Yabba Dabba Doo”! Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur/Pebble Brook Primary.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur/Pebble Brook Primary

Exploring Fossils and Rocks

The children investigated how fossils form, how they feel and what they can tell us about animals that lived in the past and extinction. For the science element of the term topic, the class have been examining numerous types of rock, exploring the school grounds and the buildings to identify different types of stone and rock.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We remember visiting the school on a couple of occasions to work with different classes and enrich their curriculum. The classrooms were full of colourful artwork and delightful wall displays. We all had a great time”

Everything Dinosaur stocks a wide range of prehistoric animal themed crafts and art materials as well as replicas of dinosaurs and famous animals such as trilobites, belemnites and ammonites from the fossil record. All the items that the UK-based mail order company stocks have been tested and approved by the company’s teaching team.

To view the range of products available, visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Dinosaur Crafts for Kids.

26 07, 2022

Remembering School Workshops in Blackpool

By | July 26th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Educational Activities, General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Photos/Schools, Press Releases|0 Comments

Whilst reviewing some old files in the Everything Dinosaur offices as part of our compliance with GDPR regulations, team members came across some feedback from teachers after we had delivered as series of prehistoric animal themed workshops at Unity Academy in Lancashire.

Everything Dinosaur had been invited to participate in the “Blackpool Celebrating Science Conference”. This event, which took place back in 2015 is well remembered by our staff. We prepared and delivered two workshops around the theme of “A Jurassic World”. We received excellent feedback from the teachers that observed our workshops.

One teacher commented:

“Fabulous! Very interesting! Children really engaged and focused. Thoroughly, enjoyed it – thank you.”

Feedback from Blackpool
Five stars for Everything Dinosaur. Excellent feedback received by Everything Dinosaur after workshops supporting the “Blackpool Celebrating Science Conference”.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

A second teacher, who attended one of our workshops with her Key Stage 2 pupils added:

“Very informative and entertaining”

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated that team members were delighted to have received the feedback and it was a pleasure working with all the enthusiastic and highly motivated children.

To view the range of educational prehistoric animal toys and gifts available from Everything Dinosaur’s user-friendly and award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.

8 03, 2019

Time to Celebrate International Women’s Day

By | March 8th, 2019|Educational Activities, Main Page, Photos/Schools, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day, an annual event that has its origins in the early part of the 20th century.  Over the last few years, with women’s rights and inequality issues gaining much greater media attention, this day has provided an opportunity to highlight the many challenging issues and barriers women face, for team members at Everything Dinosaur, it allows us a platform to celebrate and commemorate the huge contribution women have made and continue to make to science.

Spotted in a London Primary School – Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists

School poster acknowledges the role of women in science.
Celebrating the role of women in science. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

International Women’s Day

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is: “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.  International Women’s Day has become an important date in the international calendar as it provides an opportunity to focus on the achievement of women and amongst other things to celebrate the role women play in the advancement of human knowledge and their contribution to society.  It also provides a focal point to address gender inequality.

When team members visit schools, we provide information to help the teachers to identify suitable role models for the children to learn about.  We have been lucky to have worked with some amazing scientists from all over the world and we can provide lots and lots of examples supporting the cause of gender equality in science, after all, the word scientist does not distinguish between male and female.

We Try and Breakdown Stereotypical Views about a Career in the Sciences

Developing scientists in schools.
Developing the next generation of scientists.  Helping to break down gender stereotypes.

Picture credit: Lego

Celebrating the Life and Work of Mary Anning

One of the role models we suggest is Mary Anning (1799-1847).  This famous fossil hunter from Dorset and her story has become synonymous with elements of the national curriculum for schools (primary school level).  When we visit schools, we provide lots of additional teaching resources and we often challenge the class to research and write about Mary Anning (independent learning and non-chronological reporting).

A Challenge to a Key Stage 1 Class – Ten Questions About Mary Anning

Mary Anning Non-chronological report.
A non-chronological report exercise based on the life and work of Mary Anning.  Helping to promote the role of women in science. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Tomorrow, March 9th, is the anniversary of the death of Mary Anning, at just 47 years of age.  As well as working with Key Stage 1 children exploring the fossils that Mary Anning found and her role in helping to improve our understanding of prehistoric life, when working with older children in Upper Key Stage 2, we introduce other issues that are reflected in the life and work of the famous fossil hunter.  For example, in Georgian and early Victorian times, the academic world largely shunned the idea of women making a contribution to scientific enquiry.

During her lifetime, Mary Anning received little credit and very little reward for her efforts.  These days, we live in somewhat more enlightened times, although many might argue that there is still a long way to go before true equality is achieved.

Working with Upper KS2 Students

When working with Year 5 and Year 6 students we explore how other scientists treated Mary and her endeavours.  She was not permitted to join the Geological Society of London, being a woman, this was forbidden and many of her male contemporaries not only refused to give her credit for her discoveries and insights, they actually took much of the credit for themselves.  Sadly, Mary died all too soon having spent much of her life in abject poverty.  When Everything Dinosaur team members visit Lyme Regis, where Mary was born, we make a pilgrimage to her grave at St Michael’s church and pay our respects.

Mary Anning’s Grave at Lyme Regis She is Buried Alongside Her Brother Joseph

Mary and Joseph Anning are buried here.
The grave of Mary and Joseph Anning.  It has become the custom to leave a fossil at the grave as a tribute to Mary’s contribution to science. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Royal Society Acknowleges Mary Anning

In 2010, the Royal Society published a list of the top ten British women who had most influenced the history of science.  Mary Anning was included in this list.  Much has changed in terms of gender equality in the sciences, however, despite the Royal Society having its roots in the early 1660s, it is worth remembering that the first female Fellow was not elected until 1945 (we think).

Another female scientist included in the Royal Society list was the chemist, biologist and physicist Rosalind Franklin.  Rosalind was an outstanding polymath who made an enormous contribution to our understanding of DNA and RNA and pioneered X-ray crystallography (XRC).  Rosalind Franklin is commemorated on the poster we spotted in the primary school.

Rosalind Franklin is Featured on the School Poster Praising the Contribution of Women in Science

Highlighting the work of Rosalind Franklin.
The work of Rosalind Franklin is highlighted. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Visit the Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur.

16 01, 2019

Year 1 Children Prepare Questions About Dinosaurs

By | January 16th, 2019|Educational Activities, Main Page, Photos/Schools, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaur Questions from Year 1 at Barford Primary

Children in Year 1 at Barford Primary (Ladywood, Birmingham), have embarked on a new term topic.  Under the enthusiastic and expert guidance of their teachers, the children are learning all about dinosaurs, fossils and life in the past.  One of Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur and fossil experts was dispatched to the school to visit 1G and 1L to help kick-off the dinosaur themed topic in style.

Dinosaur Workshop

Prior to delivering the two workshops (one workshop for each Year 1 class), our team member was given the chance to discuss learning objectives and outcomes with the class teachers in a spacious and very tidy Year 1 classroom.

The children had been thinking of questions that they would like to know the answer to, a start had been made on one of the classroom display boards and some questions had already been posted up.

Children at Barford Primary School (Year 1) Prepare Questions About Prehistoric Animals and Fossils

Questions about dinosaurs from Year 1 (Barford Primary)

Barford Primary – dinosaur questions.  The two classes of Year 1 children had been preparing questions about dinosaurs and life in the past.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur/Barford Primary

Learning About Fossils

During the workshop, the children were able to handle the same sort of fossils that Mary Anning, the famous fossil hunter from Dorset would have discovered on the beach at Lyme Regis.  Mary Anning makes a fine role model for children in Key Stage 1, as she was not much older when she found the fossilised remains of a huge marine reptile (ichthyosaur) eroding out of the cliffs close to her home town.

For models and replicas of ichthyosaurs and other prehistoric animals: CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Models.

Questions About Dinosaurs

One of the questions asked by the pupils was “how is a fossil made?”  Using simple language and terms our dinosaur expert leading the workshop was able to explain how most fossils are formed and that it is because we have fossils, such as bones, teeth and footprints that palaeontologists have been able to demonstrate that millions of years ago giant reptiles roamed the Earth.  All very helpful with the scheme of work for the Year 1 children as another question asked by a budding, young scientist was “how do we know that dinosaurs existed?”

Fossils Help Scientists to Learn About Life in the Past

A Gorgosaurus on display.

Gorgosaurus fossil display.  Fossils help scientists to learn about life in the past.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur/Manchester University

Populating a Prehistoric Scene

One of the questions that our staff member spotted whilst visiting the Year 1 children (1G and 1L), was “what killed the dinosaurs”?  The children were keen to demonstrate their pre-knowledge and provided very confident answers, in the challenging and engaging scheme of work prepared for the term topic.  The question concerning what caused the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs will be thoroughly researched and explored.  One theory that has been proposed is that a long period of volcanism caused global climate change, this volcanism in conjunction with an extra-terrestrial impact event led to the extinction of around seventy percent of all life on land, including the non-avian dinosaurs.

Volcanic Eruptions Could Have Played a Role in the Extinction of the Dinosaurs

Barford Primary (Year 1) design a prehistoric scene.

Primary school children design their own dinosaur landscape.  Volcanic eruptions could have been a factor in the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur/Barford Primary

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Everything Dinosaur.

15 07, 2013

Two-Headed, Fire Breathing, Water Spraying Monster

By | July 15th, 2013|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Educational Activities, Photos/Schools, Press Releases|0 Comments

Beacon Museum Announces Competition Winner

One lucky school girl has won the chance for herself and her classmates to visit the new exhibitions at the Beacon Museum which opened this weekend.  Whitehaven in Cumbria is having its very own monster, double-bill with two exhibitions running concurrently at the Beacon Museum, “Ice Age – Life after the Dinosaurs” and “Shark – Myths and Reality”

Monster Drawing Competition

Elle Jenkinson, aged 9, of St Bridget’s RC Primary School in Egremont, won a drawing competition organised by the enthusiastic museum staff, children were invited to design their own prehistoric monster.  Elle’s winning entry was a colourful drawing of a two-headed monster, that could breathe fire and spray water.

Elle Jenkinson’s Monster Drawing
Fire breathing, water spraying monster.
Picture credit: Elle Jenkinson

Highly Commended

Four other entries were highly commended and received prizes.  These were by Tess Cullen of Thwaites School, Dylan Hodgson of Kells Infant School, Jennifer Eve Gillon of Eaglesfield Paddle Primary School and Evan Casson of Moor Row Community School.

Around a hundred primary schoolchildren from West Cumbria entered the competition.  They created their own magnificent monsters and beasts in the hope of winning the chance for their whole class to come face to face with life-size replicas of giant beasts, superb sharks and unbelievable underwater creatures.

The competition was judged by the Mayor and Mayoress of Copeland, Geoff and Sandra Garrity who said:

“The children had obviously had real fun creating these amazing pictures.  The imagination and thought that they had put into their drawings really was wonderful.”

The Beacon Museum

The exhibitions currently on at the Beacon Museum will give visitors the chance  to get up close to some real monsters that once roamed the Earth as well as to learn more about the fascinating world of the shark, some of which, the Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) for example, can grow to be as long as a bus.  Fortunately, these giants are filter feeders and not likely to attack divers.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It was a great idea for the Beacon Museum to organise a drawing competition.  A chance for school children to imagine strange and bizarre animals, with the prize being a visit to the exhibitions to learn all about some very real and even more strange and bizarre animals that are known to science.”

“Ice Age – Life after the Dinosaurs” and “Shark – Myths and Reality” is on from now until the 5th January 2014.

For models and figures of many of the prehistoric animals that are featured in the exhibition: Everything Dinosaur Models and Figures.

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