Rocks and Fossils activity 9: Dinosaur footprints
Pupils investigate the dinosaur footprint discovered on the beach at East Wear Bay Folkestone. They research dinosaur trackways in Britain and across the world to see what they can reveal. Working in small teams they next make dinosaur footprint templates – to create a series of impressive dinosaur trackways in the school grounds, which other teams of junior palaeontologists attempt to interpret.
Increased knowledge and understanding of dinosaurs, dinosaur trackways and the work of palaeontologists. How can we identify dinosaur behaviour from their footprints. Scientific analysis of trace fossils. It’s exciting being a scientist!
KS1-2 Science (prehistoric life, dinosaurs)
KS1-2 Maths (measuring distances between footprints)
KS1-2 Design technology (making a dinosaur foot template)
When looking at the Folkestone dinosaur footprint in Rocks and Fossils think about the following questions:
- What shape and size is it?
- What kind of dinosaur do experts think it belonged to and why?
- How did the footprint become fossilised?
Research dinosaur footprints and trackways discovered in other locations in the UK and around the world. Here are some good websites.
Think about the following questions:
- What can they tell us about how dinosaurs lived and moved around?
- How has digital technology and CGI been used to recreate the movements of dinosaurs using these trackways
- How has it increased our understanding of dinosaur behaviour?
Make a full-size (or small scale) replica Folkestone dinosaur footprint!
Make a template, using thick corrugated cardboard (from a recycled box). This template can be placed on large sheets of thick paper and drawn round again and again to make lots of dinosaur footprints.
Investigate how small theropod dinosaurs (like the one that made it) walked and ran.
Create a dinosaur trackway in your school hall, playground or school field using the footprint cut-outs. You may have to stick or weigh them down.
Remember. A walking dinosaur’s footprints will be close together. As it increases speed they will get further apart.
Have fun in small groups making different pathways and getting other groups to interpret them.
You could introduce a juvenile (a baby or young dinosaur) walking with its mother. Their tracks may overlap. They may stop to graze or a predator might come in to attack them. Or a dinosaur stampede!
If working on a small scale (say 5cm footprint diameter) you can make a dinosaur footprint stamp by cutting a piece of thin sponge to shape and sticking it to the footprint. Dip this in poster paint and you can print your dinosaur trackway along a roll of cartridge paper.
Learn with Objects links
Use Learn with Objects, Rocks and Fossils 10: footprint for info and images.