Beacon Lesson Plan Library

No Bones About It

Stacey Schlichter
Santa Rosa District Schools


Ah, the skeleton, that old sack of bones! Actually, it's the framework for all vertebrates and comes in very handy. Students will obtain valuable knowledge on the skeletal and muscular systems as they explore the Internet and create a model arm.


The student constructs models to compare objects in science.


-15 sheets of poster board
-90 large paper clips
-60 long balloons
-Bolt of string or yarn


1.Book mark the website being used on all student computers. Download Shockwave to prevent any unnecessary delays.
2.Sort and organize all materials for each activity/experiment. Put all materials separate containers to ensure smooth transition time when moving into lab groups.
3.Be sure to have all reproducibles copied and ready to go.
4.Laminate all lab cards to ensure durability.
5.Create an artificial dumbbell to use in the first lesson.


Day 1

1. Prior to this lesson, the students should have background knowledge on the different systems of the human body, as well as be familiar with lab safety and guidelines for good scientific thinking.

2. Impress students by lifting an artificial dumbbell that says the weight in 1000 pounds. Ask students what part of the body is allowing you to lift the very heavy weight. Create a KWL chart by asking students, where does our body get its support? Why are we able to stand upright? Is the skeletal system the only system enabling humans to move? What would happen if we did not have any bones? Do our bones serve any other purposes?

3. After an informal debate about the function of the skeletal and muscular systems, inform students that they will be learning about the different parts of the skeletal system and how bones work with muscles to create mobility.

4. To understand the location of the different bones, students check out a super website that will give a ton of information. (Be sure to bookmark the website

5. Instruct students to go to should already be book marked). Once they have pulled up the site, instruct them to choose bone from the list of body systems categories on the left.

6. Instruct students to explore the skeletal system by reading the article.

7.Students will then locate 5 interesting facts about the skeleton and list at the bottom of their completed diagrams.

Day 2

1. Ask students if they would like to create a model arm that demonstrates how muscle and bone work together to create movement.

2. Divide students into pairs.

3. Pass out materials (see list for student materials and the lab card).

4. Read the steps for the activity to the class while students follow along.

5.Remind the students to follow the directions on the lab cards carefully.

6.Move around and supervise the student pairs.

7. Students will share their finished arms with the entire class. Encourage students to evaluate and share any complications they encountered and what they would have done differently.


These activities give the students hands-on experiences to help them see the relationship between muscle and bone.

Each student should be assessed on the following:
-Records of the Internet research activity,
-Creates a model of an arm and explains the various functions of muscle and bone that create mobility.


-Invite students to write a narrative essay on a conversation between the biceps and the humerus. What is their relationship like? How well do they get along? Do they have any humerus or strange stories? Ask students to share their final drafts.
-Invite an orthopedic surgeon or pediatric surgeon to visit the classroom and present x-rays and discuss the functions of the skeletal and muscular systems.
-To prevent any discouraged ESOL or ESE students, have them work in pairs to complete all of the assignments. Modify the Internet activity by allowing them to complete the lab sheet with a partner.

Web Links

Once they have pulled up the site, instruct them to choose bone from the list of body systems categories on the left.
Kids Health

Attached Files

The lab sheet for the model arm activity.     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.