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Activities for Teaching the Skeletal System

What is the Skeletal System?

You have a skeleton inside of your body (endoskeleton) made up of bones. Insects and crustaceans have skeletal systems on the outside or their bodies (exoskeletons) that are made of hard plates. does a great job illustrating the importance of our skeleton:

Your bones or skeletal system gives shape and form to your body, but it also plays other important roles. The main functions of the skeletal system include:

  • Support—the skeleton supports the body against the pull of gravity. This means you won't fall over when you stand up. The bones in your lower body carry all your weight. They are larger than the bones in your upper body. The lower limb bones support your body when standing.

  • Protection—the skeleton supports and protects your soft organs. For example, the skull protects the brain. Ribs in your chest help protect the heart and lungs.

  • Movement—bones work together with muscles to move the body.

  • Making blood cells—blood cells are mostly made inside certain types of bones.

  • Storage—bones store calcium. They contain more calcium than any other organ. Calcium is released by the bones when it is needed.

We really loved creating our own skeleton out of items we collected from outside!

As we walked around looking for the perfect things, we discussed the parts.

You can get far more detailed adding more bones, or you can keep it pretty basic as we did. Mine are in 1st and 4th grade, we plan on doing another version adding a few more terms such as femur, humerus, phalanges, etc...

We also labeled the parts!

We decided to add lungs to our skeleton, only because we found the perfect mushroom to make them with! This will also show them the importance of the rib cage!

You can also use this opportunity to learn about the items you are using! We found a neat plant and learned what it was called by taking a photo of it on the seek app! This app is free, and in the iTunes app store! You can find it here!

We even took a break and watched the movie Coco to see how many bones we could find!

Resources for this Unit:

Click each picture for direct link!

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