Science KS2: The work of Mary Anning

This film explores how Mary Anning used her findings to gain an insight into the Jurassic past.

She lived in Dorset in 1823 and used to go fossil hunting in Lyme Regis. She was one of the first palaeontologists and originally worked with her father.

In this vlog style video she explains the scientific method of observing, recording data and concluding.

She also outlines how she uses scientific method and process to think about fossils found in rocks, and how to classify them using recently developed classification systems.

Mary Anning was an early female scientist who had her fossils placed in a museum in London.

She found a large plesiosaur, which means fish lizard, some ammonites and belemnites.

She also found an ichthyosaurus and dinosaur ‘poo’ which is called coprolite. Then a pterosaur which is a flying reptile.

Her work helped scientists gain an insight into how many million years old the earth is, and the animals that roamed the planet.

This clip is from the series Scientists and Scientific Method.

Teacher Notes

As a starter to introduce a practical science activity, you could write a simple quiz to encourage pupils to capture the keywords shown in the video.

Pupils can write their own definitions from these words using the internet or science dictionaries to improve their scientific vocabularies.

To consolidate their knowledge, you could get pupils to make booklets that include key information about Mary Anning and her work.

They could define the keywords featured in the film, and find five or more pieces of additional pieces of information about the work of the scientist using books, encyclopedias or the internet.

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching Science at Key Stage 2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 2nd Level in Scotland. They also have cross-curricular links with History and Literacy.

More from Scientists and Scientific Method:

The work of the ‘father of optics’ Alhazen
The work of Nicolaus Copernicus
The work of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace
The work of Galileo Galilei
The work of Caroline and William Herschel
The work of Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov
The work of Carl Linnaeus
The work of Sir Isaac Newton