30+ Page Skeletal System Packet!
This 30+ page packet covers the following topics:
- Identify the bones of the body
- Basic functions of the skeletal system (support, protection, assistance in movement, the storage and release of minerals, blood cell reproduction),
- How bones grow and repair themselves, bone remodeling, bone marrow, and the spine
- Bones and Cartilage Activity
- How the skeletal system is divided (axial and appendicular skeleton)
- Types of Joints
- Bone disorders
We have spent the past several weeks studying the bones of the human body. Our skeletal system unit took much longer than anticipated because we wound up diving into information about how the skeletal system is divided, joints, the types of bones based on shape (long bones, flat bones, etc.), as well as some bone disorders (because LD is really fascinated by diseases these days!). We did a number of fun, hands-on activities along the way which I’ll share with you below.
As you may recall, we actually started off our Human Body Unit with a discussion of how the human body is organized: cells, tissues, organs and body systems. The kids (and I) had a lot of fun reviewing all the human body systems with a song called Body System Rock (more about that over at that post!)
Bones of the Body: Our first activity was to go over some of the names of the bones in our body. We watched a really fun video that shows all the bones of the body called Stanley the Skeleton. The girls then made their own skeleton using The Body Book: Easy-to-Make Hands-on Models That Teach (affiliate link). We printed the sheets out on cardstock. The kids cut them out and put the body together with brads. We used their skeleton throughout the next couple of weeks to review the major bones of the body. The kids all filled out the matching page (in the packet) as well. You can see the matching page they used in the photo below. There are several versions of that page. The one they used, the words were more or less in order. There’s another sheet where the bones are in completely random order and there’s also a blank page for older students to fill in all the bones themselves.
One of the kids’ activities was to create a song or poem that included at least 10 bones of the body. They had a lot of fun with that and performed both for me and later for Hubby when he got home from work. That was a big hit. The kids really enjoyed that activity!
Next, we went over some new worksheets I made for the kids. We talked about some of the basic functions of the skeletal system (support, protection, assistance in movement, the storage and release of minerals, blood cell reproduction), how bones grow and repair themselves, bone remodeling, bone marrow, and the spine.
Bones and Cartilage Activity: We spent quite a bit of time talking about the role cartilage plays in the body. We did an activity that we had done several years ago that shows how cartilage acts as a cushion in the discs as well as in the joints. I gathered some materials from the grocery store for this activity (pipe cleaners, gummy life savers–for the cartilage, Rigatoni–for the long bones, and Rotelle for the vertebrae.) I had to look in several stores for Rotelle noodles. I found them in Harris Teeter.) First, I had the kids place about 10 Rotelle noodles on a pipe cleaner. On another pipe cleaner I had them alternate gummies and Rotelle noodles.
I had them put the “neck” up near their ear, move the neck around and listen to the difference between “bone on bone” and “bone separated by cartilage.” We also talked about how much more easily the bones moved with cartilage in place. We talked about back injuries. I had a bulging disc in November and spent 8 weeks in physical therapy. We talked a lot about that!!
Finally, we proceeded to make a gummy guy… As you can see we used pipe cleaners for the arms and legs and used Rigatoni for the long bones.
Types of Joints: There are a number of different types of movable joints in the body and we talked about the hinge joints, ball and socket joints and pivot joints. The Body Book (affiliate link) had another printable on joints that we used for this part of our unit.
The book had a ball and socket printable as well, but instead we made our own with a Styrofoam ball and a toy popper (like the ones at Oriental Trading).
We also talked about what it is like when your joints don’t work correctly (like people who get arthritis. I taped popsicle sticks to their fingers and they tried to pick up some objects with their fingers immobilized! Unfortunately, my pictures were blurry, but we did this same activity when the kids were little… so here are some old photos of that! We used a lot of tape, but the kids really got a kick out of this activity (even being quite a bit older!)
Our Skeletal System Lapbook and Notebook Pages Packet has been updated to include worksheets on the basic functions of the skeletal system, how the skeletal system is divided, joints, the types of bones based on shape, bone disorders, etc. I also added in the hands-on activity ideas I shared on the blog here. This packet is $4.00.
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Skeletal System Activities for preschool and kindergarten: Before I go, I wanted to share a couple of the activities we did when the kids were younger. We had a wonderful, heavy cardboard floor puzzle of the human body that we used a lot. It was big enough that when I drew an outline of the kids (around the age of 3 or so), the skeleton fit pretty well inside that drawing! This puzzle was called Look Into Your Body All About You From the Inside Out with Floor Puzzle Skeleton (affiliate link).
Another activity we did that was really fun, was making cookie dough hands (I traced around their hands and then baked them). They used icing (in a ziploc bag) to squeeze out the different bones of their hand. We also talked about x-rays and then did the little activity on the right… showing an “x-ray” of their hand!
We had two books we really used a lot for these units the Body Book that I mentioned above. The other one we used quite a bit for our human body systems units was Human Anatomy Coloring Book (affiliate link) has pages you can print out and color in.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
Some of our other Human Body Packets:
Click on the words to take you to the post (for more information).
Includes student worksheets on the mouth, swallowing, digestive tract, plus lapbook pages, hands on activity ideas and more! 40+ pages
A Study of Cells: Includes pages on the how cell theory developed, basic parts of cell (cell organelles), function of organelles, animal vs. plant cells, Eukaryotes vs. Prokaryotes, how proteins are made, cells of the human body, activity ideas, lapbook pages and more!
Coming Soon: We bought some beautiful graphics for these two packets and are excited to be getting these ready. We were hoping to finish these unit this semester (Spring 2015), but we may have to postpone these until the summer or fall because it’s already mid-May! That’s how homeschooling goes! ~LieslComing Soon:
Whew! That’s about it for today! See you again soon here or at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! ~Liesl