Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Species

Learn about the species of the Mesozoic Era with practical and engaging activities. Reconstruct a dinosaur by adding clay to a dinosaur skeleton. Make a Dino-family jigsaw. Take part in an animal survival game. Create a 3D Mesozoic timeline showing the three main eras and populate each section with pictures of the correct dinosaur species.

Session 1 Flesh it out!

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

Design and Technology

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about how palaeoartists reconstruct dinosaurs from fossils and try it yourself!

Teaching Objectives:

  • To collate already known information about dinosaurs and compare modern animals to dinosaurs.
  • To reconstruct a dinosaur by building up clay layers on a plastic or wooden dinosaur skeleton.

Children will:

  • Draw on already known information about dinosaurs and form research questions.
  • Know how living things, and the bone structure of fossils, can influence a palaeoartist’s reconstruction.
  • Consider how palaeoartists use this information to hypothesise about what dinosaurs looked like.

You Will Need

  • Long sheets of paper (wall paper)
  • Thick pens
  • Small, plastic dinosaurs and dinsoaur skeletons
  • Wooden dinosaurs for ‘reconstruction’
  • Air drying clay
  • Clay tools
  • Squares of textured cloth (hessian)
  • Paint and a brush
  • Internet or books with animals from today in them

Session 2 Dino families

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 parents.
  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about the main family groups of dinosaurs and make a Dino-family jigsaw.

Teaching Objectives:

  • To be able to recognise and describe the family groups of dinosaurs.

Children will:

  • Recognise the family groups of dinosaurs.
  • Know that dinosaurs are grouped into two large families based on the structure of their hips: lizard-hips and bird-hips.

You Will Need

  • Internet and dinosaur reference books.

Session 3 The survival game

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

Teaching and Activities

Investigate dinosaurs and their environments, understand how they would have competed for resources and take part in an animal survival game.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn that dinosaurs were integral to, and adapted to, their environments.

Children will:

  • Learn that dinosaurs were integral to, and adapted to, their environments.
  • Investigate what resources palaeontologists understand past ecosystems to have contained.
  • Understand how living things compete for resources by pretending to be animals competing for food and shelter.

You Will Need

  • Internet
  • Coloured cards (two colours)
  • Tape
  • Whistle

Session 4 3D Mesozoic Timeline Part 1

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

Design and Technology

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose.

Teaching and Activities

Find out about the three main periods of the Mesozoic Era and portray their landscapes and vegetation in a 3D model.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To consider the different landscapes and climates of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of the Mesozoic Era.
  • To construct a model Mesozoic Era, portraying the three different landscapes of the periods within it.

Children will:

  • Recognise the different landscapes of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of the Mesozoic Era.
  • Discuss, with understanding, how the vegetation and climate changed during the Mesozoic Era.
  • Construct a model Mesozoic Era, portraying the three different landscapes and vegetation of the periods within it.

You Will Need

  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Sticky tape and scissors
  • Warm water
  • Modroc
  • Paint and brush

Session 5 3D Mesozoic Timeline Part 2

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

Design and Technology

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose.

Teaching and Activities

Populate your model of the Mesozoic Era with pictures of the correct dinosaur species living in each of the three periods.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To consider the different dinosaurs that lived in the landscapes of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous epochs of the Mesozoic Era.
  • To populate the model Mesozoic Era with vegetation and images of dinosaur species considered to have lived in each of the three epochs.

Children will:

  • Recognise the different species of dinosaurs that lived in the landscapes of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous epochs of the Mesozoic Era.
  • Consider how the vegetation, climate and landscape may have influenced and sustained the different species of dinosaurs that occupied them.
  • Discuss, with understanding, how the vegetation changed during the Mesozoic Era.

Provided Resources

  • How to make a 3d Mesozoic timeline (part 2

You Will Need

  • Scissors
  • Art straws
  • PVA glue
  • Modelling moss
  • Internet (access to Google images)
  • Thumbnail prints of dinosaurs