Fun, Hands-On Dinosaur Unit: Sauropods – Diplodocus

This week’s focus for our dinosaur unit has been the dinosaurs from the Sauropods group using Diplodocus as an example, and we have had heaps of hand-on fun!

diplodocus pin

Dinosaurs are classified into two groups dependent 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.  We have already covered one of the dinosaurs from the Thyreophora group, namely the Stegasaurus and one from the Cerapod group, the Triceratops.  Over the next few weeks we will be turning our attention to the Saurischia dinosaurs, this week focusing on the Sauropods.  Sauropods were herbivores who walked on four legs and typically grew to enormous sizes. This group includes dinosaurs such as the Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus.  It is the Diplodocus we learnt about this week.

Dinosaur Read Alouds

A7 thoroughly enjoyed reading The Dinosaur which Pooped the Past to her giggly sister!  Lots of laughs all round!


Although A7 read The Dinosaur’s Diary first, but I also read it aloud at night time so that B5 could enjoy it as well:

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Dinosaur Read Alone

A7 also read this comic before going to sleep each night:

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I also bought a couple of activity books linked to the film which the girls have been enjoying:

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Dinosaur Audio-Visual

A7 watched and listened to this slide show from

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And we all watched the Good Dinosaur as a family once A7 had finished reading the comic version:


We also watched the Magic schoolbus Explores the Dinosaurs on YouTube:

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Dinosaur Geography

A7 looked up where the Diplodocus fossils had been found in the world, and stuck Diplodocus stickers in North America:



Dinosaur Science

  1. Cookie Excavation

Before we carried out our paleontology dig, we did a quick experiment with a cookie excavation.

I gathered on a tray:


The girls recorded their first observation, which was the whole cookie.  They wrote what they saw as well as drawing it.  They then made their prediction of how many chocolate chips they thought each cookie would contain and were then timed excavating it with a tooth pick:


They excavated until ten minutes were up:


Every two minutes they stopped and counted the chocolate chips, recording their findings:


Here is A7’s final sheet:


This got them warmed up for the big excavation, which was to occur in their very own back garden!

2. Paleontology Dig

This week’s science was to experience a Paleontology dig as close to the real thing as possible (given it was in our back garden 🙂  ).  We used ‘Digging Up Dinosaurs‘ for its excellent copy-able information and had an enormous amount of fun, digging up dinosaurs in our own back garden:

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Dinosaur Dig 12

This was a great learning experiment for the girls, which A7 in particular enjoyed (she just loves anything science related).

Dinosaur Handcrafts

We made some Diplodocus shaped tortillas with chocolate spread on them:

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As well as some very cute polymer clay Diplodocus’:


B5 did a sticker scene from The Good Dinosaur:

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And sewed Dippy the Diplodocus:

diplodocus 2

As well as some colouring in of a velvet dinosaur scene:

diplodocus 6

B5 did some graph art, copying a picture of a diplodocus:

Dippy 2

Diplodocus at the Natural History Museum

We had to have our photo taken by the Diplodocus, which stands in the entrance hall of the Natural History Museum:

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And another Sauropod, which I didn’t record the name of 🙁

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I have just one more installment of our Dinosaur unit, about the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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  1. Hi Clare

    I am a homeschooling mum of 3 (4, 7, 8). I read your blog all the time….your work with the kids is incredible! I was wondering if I could poss email you with a few quick questions? I would really appreciate your input (if that’s ok?). If do, could I possibly email you? What is your email address? Thank you so much. God bless and have a lovely day, Carla x

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