Teaching Mary Anning at KS1

Mary anningGrowing in popularity as a strong alternative to Grace Darling and Florence Nightingale, studying Mary Anning at KS1 offers some clear advantages.

Not only is she a remarkable talent but she also achieved much of her famous work at an age not so far removed from the children who learn about her. She is a great role model for young girls, being so accomplished in a such a heavily male-dominated world.

This topic is highly suitable for Y2 pupils and serves as a great example of a significant young woman achieving an amazing amount in a short time in what was a man’s world. At a time when women rarely ventured into the realms of science this young girl took the world by storm. As an inspiration for young girls to think what might be possible in their lives, this life story has a lot of the ingredients to spark pupils’ interest: dinosaurs, exciting finds, managing to sell her fossils in hard times, and a dog of course!

Pupils have lots of opportunities for hands-on activities, working with fossils, as well as consideration of historical evidence and coming up with compelling reasons why we still remember this young girl’s achievements 200 years later. Recent press coverage of attempts by children to honour her relatively neglected memory gives pupils a connection between past and present and the opportunity to express their admiration in the devising ways to commemorate her remarkable life.

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