ACT Special Program- The Dinosaur Lady | Fizzics Education

ACT Special Program- The Dinosaur Lady

ACT Special Program- The Dinosaur Lady

Have the Dinosaur Lady at your Early Learning Centre!

  • Hands-on and tailored to preschooler’s needs
  • Run by Jenni, a real palaeontologist who has worked on many real fossil digs in outback Australia

Jenni with a dinosaur

The Dinosaur Lady’s program has been developed over many years with additional elements added and activities adjusted in response to feedback from participants: both staff and students. This is a proven formula, but by no means set in concrete should your class have specific requirements. The program is flexible to account for the diverse nature of the audience. Often there will be resources for more activities than time will allow, but this permits substitution should there be a conflict with the activities already done in class.

This also enables us to focus upon an area of palaeontology that the students may be particularly interested in, to follow on from activities done in the classroom, or adjust to a different format to suit children of differing abilities. This program illustrates some of the resources that may be used and the ideas behind particular activities – not all are suited to all groups.

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Early Years Learning Framework Learning Outcomes

  • 1.2 Develop emerging autonomy, interdependence, resilience and sense of agency
  • 4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.
  • 4.2 Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating.
  • 4.3 Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another.
  • 4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials.
  • 5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.

ELYF links to all of our preschool science workshops

Fizzics Education Awards

Science Show Demonstrations

Fossil Casting Demonstration

Using plaster of paris, a copy of an Australian Dinosaur Footprint (or other Australian fossil) is cast from a silicon mould. We explain why casts are sometimes used by scientists and the importance of using plaster in the field to protect delicate fossils. The on-screen visualisation of how fossils form and the casting process accompany this part of the show.

Hands on Fossils

With the children sitting in a circle, the Dinosaur Lady will produce many types of fossils for the children to examine closely. Physical experience is far better than just looking and creates a much better retention of information. This activity also promotes sharing and listening skills. Watch out for the mystery fossil and test your deduction skills. The fossils used are from plants and animals; where possible they are the originals, now turned to stone, but where the rarity or fragile nature requires they are casts made from plaster or fibreglass. This section has been updated with a visual guide on the screen for the students to refer to if they forget what they are looking at by the time the item reaches them. This also helps put fossils of incomplete specimens into perspective - this bit goes here.

Story Telling

Stories promote listening, observation and cooperation skills as well as testing memory and comprehension. They are an ideal way to facilitate a transition from one activity to the next, and to settle after more boisterous fun

Songs and Rhymes

These make fun use of information, presenting it in a way that is easy to remember. Some may be used during the program as transition elements, but are fun to use in the classroom before and/or after the visit.

Movement – The Dinosaur Stomp or Dino-robics

This is a fun way to look at how different dinosaurs moved and imitate them in time to music. This way the children incorporate learning the differences between dinosaurs with the development of body coordination and listening skills. Dino-robics is not only fun exercise, it also provides an appreciation of different styles of music, a feel for rhythm, listening skills (to freeze when the music stops), cooperation (to avoid others and move together), and enjoyment as well as a necessary wriggle break.


Playing with puppets is another sharing exercise as the children experiment with controlling puppets of different types – having them dance to music, or sing along. The puppets represent Dinosaurs, other prehistoric animals and modern animals; this opens the avenue for discussion about classification of creatures. Which are dinosaurs? Which walk on two legs? Which are mammals with furry bodies or reptiles with scales?

Meet “Serenity” the Serindipaceratops ~ Photograph Opportunity

Serenity is an interactive animatronic model who enjoys meeting children and posing for photos with them. She stands about waist high to Preschoolers and can move her head and tail while sometimes making noises (she is ticklish). Photos can also be taken during the puppet session while the children enjoy exploring their animals. All photos are burnt to a DVD at the end of session and given to staff. These mementos can be used for student portfolios or other activities as desired.

What do participants do?


Our program is optimised to make use of Classroom Touchscreens with a brand new powerpoint presentation to replace many of the Flash Cards and books used in the past. Our traditional (less high-tech presentation) is still available for those who require it. The advantage of the screen presentation is that it allows us to use animations and illustrations to visually enhance our description of processes like fossilisation.

Basic Plan for the Session (Long session with single class)

Arrival – in plenty of time to set up and have a quick chat about activities and timing.

First Session – Introduction (sitting in a group)

  • Fossils – Move to circle to pass things around.
  • Movement Activity – Time to get active with some Dino-robics.
  • Story/Song.

Break for snack

  • Poem or other cue to wash up.
  • Time to eat.
  • Meet Serenity and Photos
  • Time to play outside – this helps mesh with normal routine, expend some energy and for the presenter to interact with the children and answer individual questions if required.

Optional new activity (see below for details).
Normal routine to go back inside for session 2.

Second Session – start as a group.

  • Meet the puppets.
  • Hands-on Puppets – as a circle.
  • Additional Activities as time permits.

Say Goodbye.

Format if there are two classes

When there are two classes to visit consecutively the program alters slightly omitting the first story and the snack break; using the movement activity to break the session and get rid of the wriggles. A short 15-minute break is required to move equipment between classrooms and then off we go again. It is suggested that these be morning sessions with one group having recess after the program, whilst the second has an early recess to be ready to go for the next iteration.


Appropriate for ages 3 to 5 with a maximum of 30 children per class

10 Tables arranged around a room. Chairs are not required.

An outside area for fossil making

Access to 1 electrical power sockets

Duration 2.5 hours, set up time 45 minutes and pack up time 45 minutes


$520 inc. GST for a 2.5 hour workshop.

Canberra and surrounds only

Call 1300 856 828, or use this form to inquire or make a booking for your preschool.

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