This introductory session attempts to place Mary’s life in a broader context of time and place and to whet pupils’ appetite, without telling much of the story of her life. This follows in the next session. key to the introduction is the use of sources from the time which will be referred to throughout the topic. Just as Mary carefully uncovered clues, so the children will work as history detectives drawing their own conclusions from the evidence the past has left behind.
Step 1: slow reveal
Given that most pupils living outside of Lyme Regis may never have heard of Mary Anning, it is worth using a slow reveal activity (slides 2 and 3 of the KQ1 PowerPoint ), whereby pupils build up a picture of her activity by being shown various clues in a carefully-considered order.
Slide 2 is from Stone Girl, Bone Girl. Mary is out with her dog, Tray, in the first partial reveal of the book cover. The second partial reveal also on slide 2, offers the book title as a further clue but it’s not until the third reveal that most pupils will make the dinosaur link.
Slide 3 then takes them further. It is