Science - Follow your Red Nose

1st February 2013 at 00:00
Search for Di-nose-saurs and delve into the prehistoric

In the middle of the classroom is an egg and three sets of large footprints. They are definitely not human. This is Dinosesaur Scene Investigation (DSI) and it is up to your pupils to find out who the egg belongs to.

The Dinosesaurs - T-Spex, Dinomite and Triceytops - are this year's Red Nose Day characters. The nose designs are caricatures of the Tyrannosaurus rex, stegosaur and triceratops. As well as being fun to wear, they are a great excuse to introduce pupils to the giant lizards that roamed our planet millions of years ago.

Gather a number of eggs and spell out the names of the three mascots by writing one letter on each egg - but leave out the "x" in T-Spex and "m" in Dinomite. Hide the eggs around the school grounds, or in your classroom if it is wet, and tell pupils their task: to find all the eggs and use their detective skills to work out which Dinosesaur has been in the school. Include some red herring letters to make things more interesting.

After pupils have spent some time finding the eggs they will discover that there is only one Dinosesaur whose name they can spell out: Triceytops. He is the one who has been getting up to mischief, coming into school after hours. What could he have been doing?

Discuss the mascots' features and ask pupils to identify what species of dinosaur they could be. Would the school still be in one piece if a 12m (40ft) long Tyrannosaurus rex had come blundering through the grounds at night? If the pupils had the misfortune of bumping into a real one, might they be eaten? Get them to measure their height and compare it to the length of a Tyrannosaurus rex's jaw - which was up to 1.2m (4ft) long - and see them shudder at the thought of being gobbled up. Dinomite, the stegosaur, may have intended to pop into school, but with heavy plate armour the species was only able to move at up to 5 mph (8kmh), making stegosaurs one of the slowest dinosaurs.

As for Triceytops, what was he doing in school? At up to 9m (30ft) long and weighing up to 12 tonnes, with three horns on its face and a spiny frill on the back of its head, triceratops looked fearsome. But pupils will be relieved to hear that this species was strictly vegetarian. Perhaps Triceytops was just looking for some juicy leaves to snack on.

Dinosesaur Scene Investigation is based on TES partner Learning through Landscapes' outdoor dinosaur lesson, which is available at bit.lyDinosaurInvestigation


Check out Emma E's selection of dinosaur-inspired songs, worksheets and lesson plans.


Engage pupils with Blythe's guide to 10-minute science experiments.


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