Dinosaurs and Fossils
Fossil Footprints

Learn how fossil footprints can tell us a great deal about the animals and humans of the past. Record footprints using drawing, photography, measuring and plaster casts. Use maths to work out the height, speed and gait of someone from the footprints they leave. Make a film about footprint investigating to tell others about all you have learned in this block.

Session 1 How footprints get made

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about how fossil footprints are made and how we investigate them. Make your own plaster cast footprints.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about how footprints get fossilised and what they can tell us.
  • To try different techniques to record footprints.

Children will:

  • Explain how fossil footprints are made.
  • Explain how fossil footprints are recorded.
  • Record footprints.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 2 Dinosaur footprints

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Identify how animals are adapted to their environment.

Art

  • Make dinosaur feet and footprints.

Teaching and Activities

Make dinosaur feet and footprints. Learn what footprints can tell us about dinosaur behaviour and adaptations.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about dinosaur behaviour and adaptations from their footprints.
  • To try different techniques to make dinosaur feet and footprints.

Children will:

  • Explain how footprints can tell us about dinosaur behaviour.
  • Explain some adaptations of dinosaurs to their environment.
  • Create a scenario using dinosaur feet that they have created.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 3 Optional outdoor trip

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time.
  • Identify how animals are adapted to their environment.

Geography

  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the physical features in the local area using a range of methods.

Teaching and Activities

Visit an outdoor site and record animal footprints using drawing, photography and casts.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To record modern animal footprints in the outdoors.
  • To record what type of environment the footprints are found in.

Children will:

  • Apply knowledge of different environments to find footprints.
  • Apply knowledge of animal adaptations to environments to predict what type of animal footprint they might find.
  • Record animal footprints thoroughly.
  • Try to identify any footprints they find.

Provided Resources

  • Finding and recording animal footprints outdoors
  • Animal footprint ID guide

You Will Need

  • Clipboards and pencils
  • Cameras
  • Measures of plaster of paris
  • Measures of water
  • Plastic zip lock bags

Session 4 Animal footprints

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time.
  • Identify how animals are adapted to their environment.

History

  • Note connections, contrasts and trends over time.

Teaching and Activities

Investigate animal footprints and how they give us evidence about the environment. Make a guide to animal footprints.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about fossilised animal footprints.
  • To work out how different animal species in Britain were x years ago.

Children will:

  • Explain what fossilised footprints were found in a particular place
  • Contrast animals from x years ago to today
  • Explore how environments change from the evidence of animal species presence or absence

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 5 Human footprints

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Identify how animals are adapted to their environment.

Maths

  • Convert between different units of metric measure.
  • Use all four operations to solve problems involving measure.
  • Solve problems involving the relative sizes of two quantities where missing values can be found by using integer multiplication and division facts.

Teaching and Activities

Learn how someone’s footprints can tell us a great deal about their height, gait and speed.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about fossilised human footprints.
  • To work out how tall people were from their footprints, and how fast they were moving.

Children will:

  • Explain what fossilised human footprints tell us.
  • Apply the footprint to height ratio to predict height.
  • Apply the measurement of gait and speed from footprint shape and spacing.

You Will Need

  • Roll of wallpaper lining

Session 6 Natural history film

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Identify how animals are adapted to their environment.

English

  • Summarise and present in his/her own words.

Teaching and Activities

Make a film about footprint investigations, which informs others about what you have learned in this block.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To apply learning about fossil footprints.
  • To make a natural history film about a footprint investigation.

Children will:

  • Demonstrate how to record a footprint.
  • Demonstrate how to tell the height and speed of an animal from its footprint.
  • Demonstrate how to ID the species that made a footprint and what that tells us about the environment.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.