The DINOSAURS AT LARGE programme content is especially developed for the New Zealand Curriculum. It is uniquely designed to link the children’s work and studies to a central learning experience.

The Dinosaur theme brings relevance to the key learning areas across all elementary grades to ensure students gain absolute value from their participation in the presentation.

The Dinosaur at Large experience gives students a unique perspective which links modern and pre-historic times to the current issues of environmental awareness, climate change, global warming, extinction, and sustainability.

With over 100 educational worksheets, Dinosaur At Large is an ideal foundation for future classroom lessons and activities.

The program works within the following strands of the broad areas of learning during the presentation, and encourages students to learn and interact during the session in the following way.


By the end of the session, the students will have

    • Explored dinosaurs as real animals that once walked on the Earth a very long time ago, in much the same way as animals do today.
    • Learned that dinosaurs came in all shapes and sizes and that these different body types allowed them to survive in a variety of different environments and times.
    • Discovered that dinosaurs were not the only type of animal to live long ago, that other animals like reptiles, insects, fish, mammals etc. lived then as well, including animals that are still around today.
    • Seen that dinosaurs were divided into several very distinctive groups where different types of animals in the group acted and looked similar.
    • Learned that dinosaurs came in a vast variety of sizes, from chicken size to “four storey building” size, and that these sizes enabled them to eat different foods.
    • Explored the differences between meat-eaters and plant-eaters, how each feeds itself and how they were similar to animals of today.
    • Discussed how scientists find out extra information about extinct animals through looking at their footprints, eggs, skin prints and environment.
    • Explored the fact that paleontologists can work out what the whole animal probably looked like from just a few bones by comparing them to animals that have similar bones, and that they can try the same activity at home with a chicken.

Educational Outcomes

English

In English, students study, use, and enjoy language and literature communicated orally, visually, or in writing.

English is the study, use, and enjoyment of the English language and its literature, communicated orally, visually, and in writing, for a range of purposes and audiences and in a variety of text forms.

Understanding, using, and creating oral, written, and visual texts of increasing complexity is at the heart of English teaching and learning. By engaging with text-based activities, students become increasingly skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.

Using a set of underpinning processes and strategies, students develop knowledge, skills, and understandings related to:

        • text purposes and audiences;
        • ideas within language contexts;
        • language features that enhance texts;
        • the structure and organisation of texts.

By being encouraged to communicate and respond to various stimuli during the session, – counting out the size of a dinosaur altogether with the presenter. – During the session the students will be asked to respond with their opinions on a variety of props and ideas in a way that will be understandable to their peers.


Maths

Mathematics & Statistics

Exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, time, and relationships in data.

Students develop the ability to think creatively, critically, strategically, and logically. They learn to structure and to organise, to carry out procedures flexibly and accurately, to process and communicate information, and to enjoy intellectual challenge.

They learn to create models and predict outcomes, to conjecture, to justify and verify, and to seek patterns and generalisations. They learn to estimate with reasonableness, calculate with precision, and understand when results are precise and when they must be interpreted with uncertainty.

By exploring the animals of the ancient world with reference to size, beginning, end etc, – “I wonder how many elephants would fit into the Brachiosaurus from the top to the bottom”.

By describing objects in relation to weight and size, – “If we brought a real T-rex into the classroom here today, it would be so big that it wouldn’t be able to fit”.

By looking at geological time (millions of years) compared with a lifetime and introducing the concept of how old the Earth is compared to us.

Number and Algebra

Involves calculating and estimating, using appropriate mental, written, or machine calculation methods in flexible ways. It also involves knowing when it is appropriate to use
estimation and being able to discern whether results are reasonable. It also involves generalising and representing the patterns and relationships found in numbers, shapes, and measures.

By describing the shape of certain objects. Upon seeing an Allosaurus claw, the students will observe that the Allosaurus had sharp claws like knives that could slice into another much larger animal to kill it for food.

By distinguishing between likely and unlikely events, – “It is likely that scientists will find more dinosaur DNA, but it is unlikely that they will be able to create a real dinosaur”.

By classifying certain objects, – “All the dinosaurs look strange, and some are bigger than others”.

By classifying certain objects, – “All the dinosaurs look strange, but some belong together in families because they look and act alike”.

Geometry and Measurement

Involves recognising and using the properties and symmetries of shapes and describing position and movement. Measurement involves quantifying the attributes of objects, using appropriate units and instruments. It also involves predicting and calculating rates of change.

Statistics

Involves identifying problems that can be explored by the use of appropriate data, designing investigations, collecting data, exploring and using patterns and relationships in data, solving problems, and communicating findings.

By exploring the animals of the ancient world with reference to size, beginning, end etc, – “I wonder how many elephants would fit into the Brachiosaurus from the top to the bottom”.

By describing objects in relation to weight and size, – “If we brought a real T-rex into the classroom here today, it would be so big that it wouldn’t be able to fit”.

By looking at geological time (millions of years) compared with a lifetime and introducing the concept of how old the Earth is compared to us.


Science

A way of investigating, understanding, and explaining our natural, physical world and the wider universe. It involves generating and testing ideas, gathering evidence – including by making observations, carrying out investigations and modelling, and communicating and debating with others – in order to develop scientific knowledge, understanding, and explanations.

By studying science, students:

        • develop an understanding of the world, built on current scientific theories;
        • learn that science involves particular processes and ways of developing and organising knowledge and that these continue to evolve;
        • use their current scientific knowledge and skills for problem solving and developing further knowledge;
        • use scientific knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about the communication, application, and implications of science as these relate to their own lives and cultures and to the sustainability of the environment.

Living World

Strand is about living things and how they interact with each other and the environment. Students develop an understanding of the diversity of life and life processes, of where and how life has evolved, of evolution as the link between life processes and ecology, and of the impact of humans on all forms of life. As a result, they are able to make more informed decisions about significant biological issues.

By looking at how animals change to suit their environment, – “The long neck dinosaurs grew long necks so as to take advantage of a food source.”

By looking at the changes that have happened to the world over time and how that has affected the way animals have looked over time. Students learn the importance of our responsibility to manage our environment sustainably.

Planet Earth and Beyond

Strand is about the interconnecting systems and processes of the Earth, the other parts of the solar system, and the universe beyond. Students learn that Earth’s subsystems of geosphere (land), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (life) are interdependent and that all are important. They come to appreciate that humans can affect this interdependence in both positive and negative ways.

Students also learn that Earth provides all the resources required to sustain life except energy from the Sun, and that, as humans, we act as guardians of these finite resources. This means knowing and understanding the numerous interactions of Earth’s four systems with the solar system. Students can then confront the issues facing our planet and make informed decisions about the protection and wise use of Earth’s resources.

By looking at how these animals got energy to live in their day to day lives and learning that food is the fuel that allows the animals to live, – “A meat-eater eats a plant-eater and hence has energy to live.”

By looking at the most fundamental source of energy transferral, that is food, and how it is the fuel that allows the animals to live, – “ A meat- eater eats a plant-eater and so has energy to live.”


Social Sciences

Places and Environment

Students learn about how people perceive, represent, interpret, and interact with places and environments. They come to understand the relationships that exist between people and the environment.

By looking at how there are and always have been systems working in the world and that all the separate parts of the system work together to survive, – The ecosystem of an ancient forest where the dinosaurs played their part as well as the trees, insects and weather etc.

By looking at how our world is and always has been full of groups of living things that work together to survive, – Ecosystems of different dinosaurs, ancient plants and insects.

By connecting experiences observed from the session to everyday experiences and evaluating what this could mean for their everyday lives, – By looking how the world once was we can understand more about how the world works and how animals develop in different environment.

Continuity and Change

Students learn about past events, experiences, and actions and the changing ways in which these have been interpreted over time. This helps them to understand the past and the present and to imagine possible futures.

By identifying features of the Earth around them and how they change, – how the vegetation changes according to the weather and specifically how the dinosaurs changed over time in response to vegetation changes which responded to changes in the climate .

By looking at how the world once was we can understand more about how the world works and how animals develop in different environments, – students learn about environmental sustainability by connecting ideas about life on Earth observed from the session to everyday experiences and evaluating what this could mean for their everyday lives.