Carnival of the Animals
Fossils

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.

Session 1 Mystery objects

Objectives

Science

  • Use observational skills and ideas to suggest answers to questions, gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.

Teaching and Activities

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´.

Teaching Outcomes
To use questioning to develop understanding about fossils and to find out why fossils are important.

Children will:

  • Use questioning to develop understanding about fossils.
  • Find out why fossils are important.

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Sand and sand trays
  • Fossils
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Paint brushes

Session 2 Spirals

Objectives

Art and Design

  • Develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes
To produce a spiral pattern, experiment with different art materials.

Children will:

  • Produce a spiral pattern.
  • Experiment with different art materials.

Provided Resources

  • Information sheet on examples of fossil drawings
  • Observational drawing guide
  • Images of ammonite fossils and spirals in nature

You Will Need

  • A variety of different drawing and painting materials
  • Some objects featuring a spiral

Session 3 Dancing dinosaurs

Objectives

Dance

  • Perform dances using simple movement patterns.

Music

  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes
To create a dinosaur dance.
To use Saint-Saëns’ ‘Fossils’ music as stimulus for dance.

Children will:

  • Create a dinosaur dance.
  • Use Saint-Saëns’ Fossils music as stimulus for dance.

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Monster Stones by Jacqui Bailey

Session 4 The Mother of Palaeontology

Objectives

History

  • Find out about the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.

English

  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes
To learn about the life of Mary Anning and understand what makes Mary Anning an important person.
To participate in role play.

Children will:

  • Learn about the life of Mary Anning.
  • Understand what makes Mary Anning an important person.
  • Participate in role play.

You Will Need

  • Stone Girl Bone Girl by Laurence Anholt

Session 5 Making fossils

Objectives

Art and Design

  • Use a range of materials creatively to design and make products.

Teaching and Activities

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

Teaching Outcomes
To make a fossil and explore using fossil-making techniques.

Children will:

  • Make a fossil.
  • Experiment using fossil-making techniques.

You Will Need

  • Plasticine and a shell
  • Plaster of Paris or alginate

Session 6 Fossil hunters - school trip

Objectives

Science

  • Use observational skills and ideas to suggest answers to questions.

English

  • Ask relevant questions to extend understanding and knowledge.
  • Give well-structured descriptions and explanations.

Teaching and Activities

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. 

Teaching Outcomes
To ask and answer appropriate questions.
To talk engagingly and appropriately about their experiences.

Children will:

  • Ask and answer appropriate questions.
  • Talk about their experiences.

You Will Need

  • Magnifying glasses
  • Buckets
  • Camera
  • Clipboards
  • Labels
  • Suitable clothing
  • A completed risk assessment and extra adult support