Mary Anning - A fossil hunter's story

A fossil hunter’s story project resources - overview

Our award-winning film, SEA DRAGON, sets the scene for the whole project, introduces Mary, and reflects the themes and main ideas being addressed through the learning activities.

This interactive resource features a series of nine core and six enrichment activities presented as four topics: Fossil hunter Mary; Strange creatures; The end of the line; and Evidence, beliefs and ideas. Collectively these activities give insights into Mary’s life, explore the science of fossils and reflect on the influence of historical, cultural and religious thinking in changing ideas.

Together the learning activities develop three themes:

  • Mary Anning, fossils and evolution covering the significance of fossils in our understanding of evolution and the role Mary Anning played in this (content knowledge)
  • The value of engaging with enquiry (procedural knowledge)
  • The nature of scientific, historical and religious knowledge (epistemic knowledge)

The activities support the use of dialogic teaching, in which children express and share their ideas in group or whole class discussion and teachers encourage children to explain their thinking. The enquiry-based approach emphasises the role in learning of the identification of questions, and the collection and use of evidence in seeking answers.

The activities are designed to be used flexibly, mainly in science lessons but in some cases are equally appropriate in history, religious education and English. Each activity includes key questions, curriculum links and vocabulary, what children do and learn, classroom resources plus background information for teachers.

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