Upper Key Stage 2 Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Extinction

Learn about the climate, vegetation and living things of the late Cretaceous period. Research the main dinosaur extinction theories and plan and argue the case for each theory in a class debate. Finally, compose a soundtrack for life after the extinction event, and play it to guests in a darkened, atmospheric space.

Session 1 End of an era

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parent.
  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

Planning and Activities

After researching the timeline of the end of the Mesozoic Era, gain an understanding of the climate, vegetation and living things of the late Cretaceous period.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To research the timeline of events at the end of the Mesozoic Era and discuss what it would have been like to live in the late Cretaceous period.

Children will:

  • Research the timeline of events at the end of the Mesozoic Era.
  • Discuss what it would have been like to live in the late Cretaceous period and build up a picture of the climate, vegetation and living things.

You Will Need

  • Large strips of paper (wall paper, for example)
  • Felt tips
  • Paints
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Internet and printer

Session 2 Delving deeper

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parent.
  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

Planning and Activities

Research the variety of extinction theories and consider arguments for and against each theory.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To research and evaluate different extinction theories.

Children will:

  • Identify and discuss the variety of extinction theories (asteroid impact, climate change, moving of the tectonic plates, disease).
  • Research effectively and compile a list under ‘For’ and ‘Against’ for different extinction theories.

You Will Need

  • Strips of card
  • Internet access

Session 3 Dino debate

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parent.
  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

English

  • Develop wider skills in spoken language; Pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended though public speaking, performance and debate.

Planning and Activities

Plan and argue the case for each extinction theory in a class debate before voting for the most plausible.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To refine the arguments (‘for’ and ‘against’) for each extinction theory.
  • To plan and engage in a debate, each group arguing the case for their extinction theory.

Children will:

  • Refine and analyse the arguments (‘for’ and ‘against’) for each extinction theory.
  • Plan and engage in a debate, each group arguing the case for their extinction theory; they can vote for the most plausible theory.

You Will Need

  • Large sheets of paper
  • Thick pens