Here’s a chilly enrichment Activity for KS2 Science, written by John Senior:

F: Found in the freezer

KS2: Science. Knowledge, skills and understanding. Living things in their environment. Pupils should be taught: about ways in which living things and the environment need protection; about the different plants and animals found in different habitats; how animals and plants in two different habitats are suited to their environment.

Links

Learning and Teaching Scotland: Climate Change

International Baccalaureate: Group 4. Experimental sciences

Summary

Imagining what is below the ice caps.

Activity

The latest discovery to excite palaeontologists − as well as everyone interested in dinosaurs and the history of animals − is the ‘duck-billed’ Gryposaurus. Discovered in 2004 it is only now that a picture of the life and physical shape of the two-legged dinosaur has been published. The dinosaur clearly had a big bite, with 300 teeth and another 500 as ‘spares’ to grow as needed.

Discoveries such as the Gryposaurus are exciting and capture our imagination, as do the stories concerning the discovery of frozen mammoths such as happened in Siberia recently:

(MyInfoHQ.net is the provider of this Reuters’ video embedded from YouTube.)

These finds offer tantalising hints as to the life and environments that existed on our planet millions of years ago. Some questions for your pupils to consider and discuss:

As the ice-caps melt and the Antarctic ‘blue crystal desert’ reveals more of its surface ask your pupils to imagine:

  • What fabulous creature or creatures from the past might be found as the ice melts?
  • What strange and amazing plants can they imagine being found?
  • What other things may be found that once lived, or were lived in, millions of years ago that the ice has frozen and preserved?

Going further Invite your pupils to draw and make models of the imagined creatures or plants. Your pupils should be able to explain the working logic of the creatures or plants If your pupils think that lost civilisations may be discovered as the ice retreats they can be asked to describe the lives of people and draw maps of the country as they imagined it to be. What effect would such a ‘real’ discovery have on modern scientific and religious thinking?

For the full story of the Gryposaurus visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7023731.stm

Information regarding the near intact mammouth found in Siberia is available at: www.geocities.com/stegob/mammoth.html

Further reading: How to Deep Freeze a Mammoth, Bjorn Kurten, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986.