Dinosaurs and children seem to go together rather well. Many children become fascinated by these amazing prehistoric creatures and soon get to grips with their complicated Latin names. Some children, young girls as well as boys, obsess on them and rapidly learn many facts and figures related to their favourite prehistoric creatures https://informasigames.com. The subject of dinosaurs and certain events associated with them such as the mass extinction event can help teachers and teaching assistants to develop imaginative and creative dinosaur themed exercises that can be used in classroom situations to help underpin key teaching concepts.
When developing a teaching strategy, the emphasis these days is to move away from traditional didactic learning techniques and adopt a less formal approach. Didactic teaching still has its place, of that there is no doubt, after all, formal instruction was the basis of teaching for many earlier generations. Formal instruction, whereby the tutor does the majority of the talking and the method of delivery is based around instructional activities is still appropriate. However, there has been a trend amongst teaching bodies and educational organisations to move towards discovery learning. Discovery learning, also sometimes referred to as “inquiry learning”, particularly in the united states, helps young learners to grasp the fundamental principles of a particular subject or module within the national curriculum. The objective behind discovery learning is to enable the learner to develop their knowledge through investigation and problem solving. Additionally, by “doing” the student is more likely to remember and recall information.
When young children read books about dinosaurs, or when they play dinosaur themed games they are involving themselves in self-discovery. A child that can talk about dinosaurs using the long names and complex words associated with the science of palaeontology is developing self-esteem and self-actualisation. Parents, teachers and guardians too, are rewarded, they see their charges growing in intellectual potency, the proud father puffs out his chest as his daughter describes the difference between a Styracosaurus and a Triceratops, for example.
Using dinosaurs to theme lessons can lead to creative, imaginative play. It will help them develop reasoning and problem solving skills that can be used in other analytical situations. For example, we came across the dice based, dinosaur themed game “Jurassic Wars” and one of the concepts that this game teaches is that not all dinosaurs lived at the same time. By playing the game with a child, an adult such as their tutor can introduce concepts such as deep time and encourage young students to grasp the fundamental principles of geology and chronology – key scientific aspects that will help them understand other aspects of the national curriculum.
Card games can help Memory and Factual Recall
The use of the game cards incorporated in this dice based game, deserves particular analysis. Within the game there are three types of playing cards. Firstly, there are those cards that feature the dinosaurs themselves, twenty in total equally divided into carnivores (known as Theropods) and herbivores, primarily the Ornithischians and Sauropodomorphs. The second set of cards are the timeline cards, which when drawn in the course of game play determine the geological period in which the dice based combats are played out. Finally, there are a serious of combat based cards that enable players to consider tactical ploys in order to give them an advantage in a period of game play.
Jurassic Wars is targeted at children from ages 8 to adult, but we have played this game with children as young as six, using it as an aid to bridge the gap between moving from Key Stage 1 principles towards Key Stage 2 in the national teaching curriculum of the united kingdom.
By playing with these card based games, young learners can develop skills of reasoning and problem solving through the creative and tactical game play. Problem solving skills and the realising of consequences can help form links that can be used in other analytical situations whether science or maths based teaching or indeed in other parts of the teaching syllabus. We have noticed that many children gain confidence in their own abilities, the dice based functions bring in the concepts of probability and luck which can help even out game play so that every player gets the chance to win some of the dinosaur combats.
There have been numerous studies undertaken to assess the impact of card based memory games to help students gain confidence in their own abilities and improve their factual recall and memories. By playing a game such as Jurassic Wars, children are helping to train their memories. An improvement in memory will have a beneficial impact on knowledge retention and understanding, helping young learners to forge links between key concepts in unrelated curriculum areas. There is plenty of published evidence and information to suggest that creative play and self-discovery aids the student’s ability to recall data. Children readily assimilate the information on the cards in their own heads and start to make their own links between the sources of information.
Game playing using dinosaur facts and figures can help children grasp a number of fundamental national curriculum concepts. Discovery learning often involves role-playing and such dice based games can lead onto other teaching activities such as discussion and brainstorming to explore key concepts and outcomes.