dinosaur unit study

Fun, Hands On Dinosaur Unit: Thyreophora – Stegasaurus

The girls have had enormous fun learning about the dinosaurs from the Thyreophora group using the Stegasaurus as an example.


Dinosaurs are classified into two groups dependant on the position of the hips:

  1. Saurischia (lizard hipped dinosaurs)
  2. Ornithiscia (bird hipped dinosaurs)

The Saurischia are further divided into Theropods and Sauropods, while the Ornithiscia are divided into Thyreophora and Cerapods.  This week we focused on one of the dinosaurs from the Thyreophora group, namely the Stegasaurus.  The name Thyreophora means ‘shield bearers’ and this group includes armored dinosaurs such as the Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus.

Dinosaur Writing Assignments

We did a mixture of narrations and copywork in addition to individual writing assignments:

  • A7 read all about the Stegosaurus and then narrated it back to me.  I typed her narration into StartWrite and she copied it out:


  • B5 did the same, although hers was a lot shorter:


  • A7 made up a dinosaur shaped poem (in the shape of a stegosaurus).  She did this all by herself, and I could see that the work we had done with rhyming using Dinosaurumpus had really paid off.  I loved this!


It reads:

Steggy is remarkable,

She’s big and fat.

She is a herbivore,

No doubt about that!

Maybe that’s why

She’s so big and fat!

  • Both girls drew and wrote about their ideal pet dinosaur.  A7 made hers up after drawing a Stegosaurus which she named Steggy:



Dinosaur Maths

As both girls use a separate maths program daily we did not do too much with this.

  • B5 played around with some shapes dinosaurs which I found here.  These were huge fun to do, matching the coloured shapes to make two different Stegosaurus:




  • I printed out some dot to dot for both girls to do.  A7 found these simple whereas B5 needed a bit of help.  I found these sheet here:


Dinosaur Read Alouds

I read this book outloud at bed time and they loved it.  A7 in particular has an almost photographic memory for facts and will often discuss what she has learnt from this book the next morning.  A great introduction to Dinosaurs and the Bible:

the great dinosaur mystery

Dinosaur Audio-Visual

A7 has been listening to a Dinosaurs and the Bible course and thoroughly enjoying it.  The girls also watched Walking with the Dinosaurs DVD:

Walking with the Dinosaurs

Dinosaur Geography

We did some research about where in the world Stegosaurus bones have been found.  I had some dinosaur stickers (from a dinosaur Magazine).  We chose the Stegosaurus stickers and printed off a world map, sticking one sticker on the country in which Stegosaurus bones have been found:


Dinosaur Science

I’ve already posted about our dinosaur experiment to investigate the effect gastroliths (gizzard stones) have in breaking down plant material.  It was a terribly easy and fun experiment which the girls thoroughly enjoyed:


Dinosaur Sewing

We used the following kit from The Works to make ‘Steggy’:


I did most of this one as the instructions were a bit tricky to follow.  Next time I’m hoping they will do more:


Dinosaur Art

I printed a how to draw a stegosaurus from TeachingIdeas which I gave to A7 to do.  She did this all by herself and whilst she was very critical of it, I thought she did a fabulous job:


Stegosaurus Excavation

I had purchased an inexpensive kit which I bought from The Works.  Fortunately we had some very decent tools from a Thames and Kosmos kit I also own (which is so much better quality).  That said, this kept my girls occupied for almost four hours!dinosaur unit

When they began they were on their own, but not a lot of time passed before L and C joined in to help:


And then T was anxious not to miss the fun:


They did leave the girls in peace for a short time.  And oh my goodness, the mess!!


And their faces:


Then T figured knocking plaster apart and putting dinosaurs together was waaaay more fun than Psychology so he rejoined them:


By this time the girls were ready for a bath…..


…or a hose down!

Whilst L ran the bath, C cleared the table and I hoovered the whole of the downstairs (the plaster got everywhere!), T put the finishing touches to the stegosaurus’ skeleton and make his littlest sister a very happy girl indeed!


I have big plans for these ol’ steggy bones:


Don’t miss next week when we will be covering Triceratops!

Dinosaur unit stegosaurus

For lots more inspiration please do visit my Dinosaur pinterest board:

11 comments on “Fun, Hands On Dinosaur Unit: Thyreophora – Stegasaurus

  1. RavenThreads

    Looks like they had so much fun 🙂

    • Oh, they did…they really, really did! Mess and dirt is rather synonymous with having fun when you are child 🙂

  2. This looks fun! So much work on your end but it seems to be paying off-look at their faces!! Great job

  3. I love this! Once again, you seem to come up with the best activities. The girls did a fantastic job on their narrations. A’s poem is excellent. These are the posts that make me want to start all over again. Almost.;)

    • 🙂
      Thank you Donna. You have no idea what your comments mean to me. You are such a naturally encouraging person!

  4. I do so love reading about the stuff you do with your little ones (who are growing up fast!). 🙂 It looks so much fun. Stegasauruses always remind me of a ‘Rotadraw’ set I had when I was a child, where you had these disc stencils that you lined up in a certain way and gradually a picture emerged. (State of the art in the 1970’s! :D)

    • I know I’m the same age as you so I should know what you are talking about, but I completely have no clue! It sound very rad!!

  5. I love the dinosaur science idea to see how the stones helped those plant eaters! We just finished a dinosaur unit, but we may just have to sneak that activity in this weekend. I know they will love it!

  6. Apparently I read this post without actually commenting.

    I love all of these activities, and it really makes me wish my kids were little again. I’m thinking of pretending they’re little this summer to have some silly fun with them.

  7. Pingback: Dinosaurs unit study – angelicscalliwags

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