Sep 1: Paper Plate Dinosaurs

Learn about glow worms and make some dinosaurs!

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Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.

Talking points

Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • Did you know that the insects we call “glow worms” are actually the larvae of fungus gnats? Did anything surprise you in the description of their appearance or lifestyle?
  • Do you think you would have chosen to see the glow worms by boat, on foot down the spiral pathway, or by abseiling down the 35m hole as the writer does? Why?
  • Using the photo of the glow worm with its sticky net as a guide, see if you can explain how glow worms (fungus gnat larvae) catch their food.
  • Some of the statistics about how much industry surrounds the Waitomo glow worm populations might have surprised you – for example, that 130 people work as guides and that the larvae are counted every half an hour. What do you think might be challenges for the tourism companies operating at Waitomo?
  • Improving the water quality of the streams and land that surround the caves has led to healthier glow worms. Does that surprise you? What does this finding suggest in terms of the relationship between what is under the ground and what is above the ground?

Activity: Paper Plate Dinosaurs

From some paper plates and cardboard rolls, create these adorable dinosaurs – a perfect addition to the bookshelf of a dinosaur-lover.

You will need:

  • 3 paper plates (26cm diameter works well)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Your choice paint colours
  • Craft brushes in a variety of sizes
  • 2 Cylinders of cardboard such as kitchen towel rolls

Step One: Use scissors to cut two of the paper plates in half.

Step Two: Use the third plate to cut out shapes for the dinosaur’s head and tail. If you don’t have a third plate you can use scrap cardboard, such as an old cereal box.

Step Three: Attach the head and tail to the body with a hot glue gun and paint the dinosaur.

Step Four: Paint the dinosaur’s eyes – you can use the end of your paint brush for making small spots like eyes.

Step Five: Cut your cylindrical cardboard rolls into quarters. Cut two slits halfway down on opposite sides of each piece.

Step Six: Paint these. Once dry, push the dinosaur bodies into the slits of the cardboard tube legs. You can secure them with hot glue if need be.

Step Seven: Enjoy your dinosaur creations! Send us a picture of your paper plate dinosaurs!