Wow, what an exciting discovery was made when we came back from our half term holiday, our outdoor area had transformed into Dinosaur World and two eggs were found hiding under the bushes!
The children were most excited, where had they come from? Where was the mummy dinosaur and what should we do with them? As a group, the children decided that it was too cold to leave them outside, "mummy animals sit on their eggs to keep them warm, and these are cold"- Bella. The eggs were swiftly brought indoors and wrapped in a blanket. After a couple of minutes, they were found to be not warming up quickly enough, so were placed into warm water.
As we waited patiently for something to happen, we began to record our predictions of what species of dinosaur was going to be inside? Lots of mathematical discussion began, comparing the size and weight of the eggs, measuring the length of the cracks which began to appear and then comparing the sizes of dinosaurs. Questions were flying around, where did the eggs come from, what was going to happen next? Was mummy dinosaur going to come looking for her eggs?
Clues soon were found by the children, wet footprints on the wood, and most worryingly, claw scratches in the home corner potatoes! Dis this mean that dinosaurs have been in our classroom? Soon the classroom became a hive of activity, 'Big dinosaurs keep out' and 'Shhh, baby dinosaurs hatching' posters were created and stuck up around the room.
Slowly, slowly, the cracks began to give us glimpse of the baby dinosaurs, so we used our non- fiction books to see if we could identify what species they were. As we carry out a daily survey, the children created their own tally chart to record their predictions about the species. They did a marvellous job, and some children even managed to record groups of 5 tally's!
All throughout the afternoon, the cracks continued to grow, but by home time they still hadn't hatched! This meant that we could not wait to come in and see what changes had happened overnight the next morning! There was so much excitement to find two fully hatched dinosaurs in the morning, a stegosaurus and t-rex, as identified by Thomas. The children were most concerned about how cold it was outside and how small the babies were, so they reached a decision to keep them indoors for a while. Some children grouped together to build a safe home for them using modelling materials. A tall box was found and filled with soft, warm materials and a large lid for a food and water bowl was placed inside.
As we continued to care for our dinosaurs, the weather got colder and frozen dinosaurs were trapped in the ice outside! Large ice balls were found in the water tray, and inside glimpses of dinosaurs could be seen. The children worked together to decide the best way to get them out without breaking them. Two children simply decided to drop their ice ball onto the floor to release the dinosaur quickly. Another pair decided to use dough tools to scrape away at the ice to see if they could free it themselves, and a group of children worked together to carry cups of warm water outside and pour over their ice ball. As the ice began to melt, the children crowded round to talk about the changes they could see. The children's developing understanding of scientific processes was wonderful to observe. Predictions were made and recorded as to how many more cups would be needed, based on the rate of melting- very grown up stuff!
The dinosaur discoveries have not stopped there- in the sand a large fossil rock was found, and nearby new tools were on the table. What is this and what could be inside? Carefully, the children worked together to excavate the fossil and uncover dinosaur bones. As the bones were uncovered, they used posters and information cards to help them match the bones to the dinosaur species. Some close observations were noted and some careful drawings were created. We can't wait to see what we will uncover next!