This unit of work is based on the article ‘Digging For Dinosaurs’ from issue 6 of Animal Planet magazine (included). Pupils will discover facts about dinosaurs and when they roamed the earth. They will also learn how a fossil is formed and investigate dinosaur skeletons. The article is used to develop comprehension skills and inspire writing, with the opportunity to write an explanatory text describing how a fossil is formed. Other activities also cover areas of the KS2 science curriculum.
During the unit the pupils will identify different dinosaur skeletons and discover why a skeleton is needed in vertebrates. They will also look at a variety of fossil images and use the article to learn how they are formed. A comprehension activity is included to check pupils’ understanding of the text and to encourage them to retrieve and record information from non-fiction. They will then write an explanatory text about how fossils are formed, linking their knowledge gained in science and from reading the article to complete their writing.
Teachers’ notes are included for each of the activities, with suggested activities to develop the unit further.
This resource pack includes:
- Copy of the Animal Planet article ‘Digging For Dinosaurs’
- Comprehension question cards (with answer sheet)
- Dinosaur skeleton worksheet
- Fossil image cards
- Planning sheet: explanatory text
- Themed writing paper
What is Animal Planet Magazine?
This pack has been created in association with Animal Planet magazine, which fuels curious minds, helps children make sense of the world and sparks joy on every page.
To find out more, and register your interest in a school subscription, visit https://www.animalplanetmagazine.com/schools
National Curriculum Programme of Study Links
Pupils should develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by listening to and discussing a wide range of … non-fiction
Pupils should understand what they read by
-checking that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context.
- asking questions to improve their understanding of the text.
Pupils should be taught how to retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction.
Pupils should plan their writing by discussing and recording ideas (years 5 and 6 also by drawing on research where necessary)
Pupils should draft and write by
- organising paragraphs around a theme
- identifying the audience and purpose for writing, selecting the appropriate form
Pupils should be taught to describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped in rock.
Pupils should be taught to identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement
Pupils should be taught to recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the earth millions of years ago.