Materials List: bean bag animal, chicken leg bone, jar with lid,
vinegar, Skeletal System Outline BLM, Skeletal System Outline Answer Key
BLM, My Skeleton BLM, My Skeleton Answer Key BLM, Ball and Socket and
Hinge Diagram BLM
Safety Note: Do not allow the students to eat the hard candies
because of possible contamination from handling.
a bean bag animal, let several students try to make it stand alone.
If someone tries to prop up the animal to make it stand, explain that by
propping it up, the animal is not standing on its own. Ask
students why they think the animal cannot stand on its own.
Ask students to explain how they are able to stand up. Explain to
students that we have bones that help hold the body up
Students will examine a model of a human skeleton (if available); if
not, posters and other visuals of the skeletal system may be used to
observe how the bones are ordered and connected.
Students will read books, textbooks, and other reference materials
to find information on the skeletal system and its function. Listed
below are several trade books that could be used with this lesson:
Pull-Out Pop-Up Body in a Book by David Hawcock - Using this
hands-on book, children can explore the lungs, heart, skeleton,
Children’s Book of the Body by Anna Sandman -Breathing,
eating, senses, bones, the brain, blood, and skin are presented
through entertaining projects.
Inside? My Body by Angela Royston -The outside and inside of
various body parts are depicted in facing pages through
illustrations, photographs, and simple annotations.
Using the My Skeleton BLM, have students label the parts of the
skeletal system. As students are labeling, discuss with them
the function of the skeletal system parts.
Provide students with a copy of the Skeletal System Outline BLM to
describe the five functions of the skeletal system.
There is also an answer key to the Skeletal System Outline
BLM to be used in assisting students with the correct functions of
the skeletal system on their outline. These answers should be
written on the board or any medium of your choice for students to
use when completing their outline.
Have students move their arms and legs and explain to students that
individual bones cannot bend and that it is at the joints in their
body where it is able to bend, turn, and twist. The teacher
may use the Ball and Socket and Hinge Diagram BLM to create an
overhead transparency or reproduce to give to students to help them
understand the function of these two types of joints.
and science learning log
(view literacy descriptions) questions
include the following:
- How do the
bones in our body help us?
- Do different
bones help different parts of our body? How?
- Why is it
important that our spine be flexible and bendable
- This part of the
activity should be done as a demonstration to illustrate the concept
that minerals (calcium) are needed for strong bones
- Show students a
clean chicken bone and gently exert pressure to show that it
will not bend.
- Ask students to
predict what will happen to the chicken bone after it is soaked
in vinegar for several days. Put the bone in a jar, cover
it with vinegar, and put the lid on the jar.
- Leave the bone
in the jar for 5-7 days.
- At the end of
the time wash the bone and dry it.
- Try to bend the
- Ask students
“Why do you think that the bone can now bend?”
- Explain that
the vinegar dissolved the minerals in the bone. The
minerals are what keep the bones hard. In our bodies, the
mineral calcium that comes from the foods we eat and drink helps
to strengthen our bones, along with vitamin D.
science learning log
(view literacy descriptions)
questions include the following:
- Why do you think it
is important for us to eat foods that contain calcium and vitamin D?
- What are some good
food sources for calcium and vitamin D?