Carnival of the Animals

Block I - Fossils

Be inspired by Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals! Learn about the fascinating creatures that feature in the movements of the music. Learn about the formation of an orchestra, the range of instruments involved, and Saint- Saëns himself. Learn about mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and fossils around the world. Round the topic off with an animal Olympics and a carnival!

What is it like to be a fossil hunter? How do you identify fossils? How are fossils formed? Who are the real fossil hunters? Discover the answers to these questions. Learn about Mary Anning, make fossils and dance like dinosaurs! Carry out a fossil hunting expedition and create a museum to showcase discoveries and creative outcomes from this block.

This Topic is written for Key Stage 1. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

Supporting documents for topic
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01: Mystery objects

This session will begin with children examining mystery object `fossils´. They will gather ideas, information and ask questions about these ancient objects. Children will then get the chance to find real fossils in a class `dig´.

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02: Spirals

Children will go on a nature walk hunting for spirals. They will explore and experiment with different artistic mediums and produce a spiral pattern and fossil drawing.

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03: Dancing dinosaurs

Children will Read Monster Stones: The Story of a Dinosaur Fossil. They will watch dinosaur clips, listen to the music `fossils´ and use this as inspiration for a dinosaur dance.

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04: The Mother of Palaeontology

Children will create images of ancient sea creatures using Saint Saen´s `fossils´ as inspiration. They will find out about the life of Mary Anning and use role-play to re-enact scenes from the story Stone Girl Bone Girl.

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05: Making fossils

Children will test their knowledge about fossils, and then have a go at making their own fossils using Plaster of Paris or alginate.

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06: Fossil hunters - school trip

Children will become real fossil hunters by going on a class trip. They will use buckets, magnifying glasses and determination to see if they can discover a fossil. Children will then create a class museum to show case their work and fossil discoveries.