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A dinosaur’s day

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By Peter Rileyauthor

Technical development by Cambridge English Online Ltd

This interactive narrative text tells the story of an eventful day in the life of a young dinosaur. Support the children in reading the text for the first time, before letting them explore the resource themselves.


By clicking on the mouse icon they will see some animation or hear a sound that will give additional information.

Shared learning and teaching

Shared reading

  • Read the title and encourage the children to make suggestions about the kinds of things that could happen in a dinosaur’s day.
  • Lead the children in reading the text. Initially, let them join in with the parts they feel confident with.
  • Before clicking the icon to show the animation, ask for predictions about what could happen next. Rather than asking for ‘hands up’, perhaps they could tell a partner, draw a picture or do thumbs up or down to indicate agreement or disagreement with a suggestion. As the story develops, compare what is happening with the predictions made.

Previous learning

Some understanding of dinosaurs would be helpful. Children will need to be aware of the differences between fiction and non-fiction texts, especially if they have been looking at reference books on dinosaurs.


Read through the narrative and explore the functionality of the text, particularly what happens when the additional animations and sounds appear. Look at the words used in the text and pick out those that have phonemes/graphemes that the children are currently learning or that can be revisited and revised – eg, spider, damp, sky (adjacent consonants, Letters and Sounds Phase 4); pine, space, shape (split digraphs, Letters and Sounds Phase 5).

  • Talk about whether this story is real or made up, asking for reasons for their opinions.
  • Draw the children’s attention to words that have phonemes/graphemes that they are learning or need to revise. Encourage them to apply their developing phonic knowledge where possible. Some of the words could be written on card or an interactive whiteboard notebook and sorted by phoneme/grapheme.
  • Focus on a short section of the text to identify the verbs that have been used and the effect of the vocabulary choice on the reader – eg, lumbered (screen 2) or snipped (screen 3). Use these verbs to secure the children’s understanding of past tense and the use of suffixes (Letters and Sounds, Phase 6).

Key learning outcomes

Year 1

  • To retell stories, ordering events and using key narrative features;
  • To build word stores and recognise phonemes/graphemes already taught;
  • To make predictions;

Year 2

  • To tell stories, using familiar story language and sustaining form in narrative;
  • To use appropriate language to make sections hang together.

Your resources

Why not upload and share the filmed scenes from your children’ own Dinosaur’s day stories? Go to your folder

Independent reading

  • Working in pairs, ask the children to retell the story, perhaps using props.
  • Write some words on cards and challenge them to find these words in the text.
  • Can the children suggest dialogue for the characters at different parts of the story?
  • Use the activity sheet below to sequence the events in the story. Cut out the sentences and sequencing words – it may help to enlarge and laminate them. The sequencing words can be used with different sentences.

Shared and independent writing

  • Give the children opportunities to make up their own stories based on the text – eg, the same story with a different ending; the same story with one part of the narrative changed; the same story with different characters; the same story with a different setting, etc. Use a guided session to model and support oral storytelling.
  • Use small world dinosaurs to ‘act out’/create dinosaur stories. Take still images to show different events in the narrative. Sequence the images to support retelling of the story. Alternatively, add the images to a story map. Encourage the children to use time connectives when they are telling the story. Go to our website and key ‘Time connectives’ into the seach box to find a useful activity sheet to support this activity.
  • Use a story map to plot the dinosaur story from the On-screen resource or to plan a different story together.
  • Using a simple animation programme, plan and a film a scene from a dinosaur’s day. Use a digital recorder to add a voice-over to tell the narrative or add dialogue.
  • Model how to write sentences for the story, using sequencing words and applying phonic knowledge.