The Human Skeletal System

Amber Neal is back to share more wonderful homeschool projects she is doing with her family.  Her family has been studying the Human Body in their homeschool science schedule.  A few weeks ago, Amber shared their study of cells in How To Make An Edible Cell.   Today she is sharing several projects they did in their study of bones and the human skeleton. 

Please join me in welcoming Amber!!!

The Human Skeletal System

This week we continued our human body unit study with a study of the skeletal system. I like to start out the week with something fun that will build excitement for our study, or at least get the kids laughing a little. To accomplish this with the skeletal system I started Monday morning with bone shaped pancakes. To do this I made up the batter and used a measuring cup to do my best to make a long bone by pouring it out slowly on the griddle. This got my son laughing right away. Of course some of the bones “broke” during the cooking process (again making it very funny to be eating broken bones for breakfast).

To really make this topic come alive for the kids I found some great resources online. I also scoured the local library’s shelves for any interesting books on bones, skeletal systems, and the human body.

Each day we read a different book and did some kind of hands on project. I encourage you to look and see what books your local library has and use those. The books I used came from our library but really any books on the skeletal system will do. When you can’t find the books you want you can also use online sources and just read them from the computer out loud to your kids.

What We Did This Week

After reading the book, we talked about the five major functions of the skeletal system. I also created a worksheet for the kids to put in their science notebooks. They had to fill in the blanks as we went over each function. This helped speed along our study as compared to if I would have made them write these out completely. A little mom sanity moment because the worst thing you can do is to assume that everything is going to go as planned. It’s better to help things along where you can, to assure you get the information across in a way without seeming so monotonous.

Here is a picture of the worksheet:

The 5 major functions of the Skeleton are- Support, shape, protection, movement and making blood cells

Learning Can Be Fun…there are no bones about it!

Our project this week was to make a model of the bone. Sounds cool doesn’t it? First we flatten some homemade playdough out and put a pipe cleaner on top of it. All things that can be purchased at the dollar store for multiple bones. The playdough represented the bone marrow. It was supposed to be red but my little one had played with the red and the yellow and mixed it up a little bit (homemade playdough link at the bottom). The red pipe cleaner represents a blood vessel traveling through the marrow. You could also use a red string or anything else you have around the house that is similar. We just happened to have all this in our craft drawer.

We rolled up the playdough around the pipe cleaner (like you were making a snake). After rolling up the bone marrow and blood vessel we wrapped it in red streamer paper (we had a lot left from birthday parties so I wanted to use it up). This represented the spongy bone. Again, you can use whatever you have around the house. Wrapping two sponges around it would have been great too, and it would have helped them remember spongy bone but I didn’t have any and I wasn’t going to go to the store once we started so streamer it was for us! Being thrifty is the name of the game sometimes. Plus it allows you to use up all that extra stuff.

We then slid the wrapped portion into a toilet paper roll (the compact bone). We then wrapped the compact bone with a red string for more blood vessels. We didn’t cover it with a membrane but we talked about it so they knew it should be there.

We talked about each part of the bone and compared it to what a real bone would have looked like.

My son really enjoyed making this model of the bone as you can tell from this picture.

I found a really useful website Science Matters on the skeletal system,  as I searched around for materials to use.  She has lots of great ideas including an edible version of the bone. I used this woman’s site for help on the basic build of a bone, but again we elected to use materials that we already had instead of purchasing the items she described. It also helps with the frugal homeschooling side of the spectrum.

Throughout the week we would often refer back to this model when talking about the bones or after reading something about the skeleton. It also helped when anyone came over to our house. They would show them the model they made, and what the parts were. I could tell it did its job in making science fun, and learning at the same time.

Snack Time!!

To continue on the path of fun while learning we had to incorporate something a little tastier. Other projects we did this week included a really fun study of the bones of the hand. What could make this exciting you ask? COOKIES! Yes cookies. When in doubt of how to make a topic fun just add food and that will usually do the trick! I wish I could claim that I am just brilliant and I came up with this on my own, but I can’t. I was however smart enough to go surfing the Pinterest boards and find some great ideas for teaching the human body and this was one of them. This is the homeschoolers site I found this great idea learning bones of the hand with cookies on Almost Homeschoolers

Here are some pictures from our go at making Phalanges cookies. I love letting the kids cook together. It covers so many different subjects and life skills a
t the same time. We had been talking about fractions in math with my son so it was a great time to let him “see and touch” what certain fractions looked like. They first had to read the recipe all the way through.

Working together is a great skill to be able to do. It builds patience and encourages self-control on everyone’s side. This is definitely a character trait we are trying to build in our children. It’s always easier to just do things myself or just let my oldest whip through a recipe to just get it done easier, faster, and with less mess (and less fussing) . But then we are missing those teachable moments that we all look for.

After the dough was made up we used this diagram of the hand for our cookies. You can find the link on the woman’s site I listed above.

We followed her directions and this is what our cookies looked like before we baked them.

This is what our Phalanges cookies looked like after baking.

And what is the best part of making Phalanges cookies? Eating them!!

I had a hand shaped cookie cutter (that came from a playdough set we had) that I used to make cookies for the rest of my crew. I think they came out very cute-

I Can See Through You

Another project we did this week was to print out a “child size” skeleton and label the bones on it. The kids had to work together again on this project. They had to lay out the skeleton first and then tape it to the door. I didn’t have any space on a wall so we used the door. This is an eight page print out, but worth the time to see it all put up. It was great because my son could stand beside it and it was only a little smaller than him. After they labeled the bones we talked about the different types of bones (long bones, short bones, flat bones, and irregular bones). We labeled an example of each one on the skeleton.

You can find any diagram of a skeleton for your kids to label with or use a book. You can go as complicated or as easy as you want. Adjust it to fit the needs and age level of your kids. Just remember to make it fun. This is the link I found the skeleton to print out.

Learning With Movies

We added in some movies this week to go along with our study. The kids always enjoy movies and I like it because it gives me a chance to get some things done that I need to like cooking, cleaning, etc. These are the movies we watched. Both of these came from our library. If your library doesn’t have any ones that you would like to use, look on youtube.

     The Magic School Bus – The Human Body
     Eye Witness- Skeleton

*always preview movies before your kids watch them so you can decide on if they are appropriate for your crowd or not. I have talked to my kids about theories they may hear in videos, tv shows that do not match up with our faith so when they hear them they know how to process them.

The End Of The Week

At the end of the week we reviewed what we had learned this week. I like to make what I call a main objective for the study worksheet. I go through our books we have read and I decide what I really want to make sure they know in the topic and I type it up. I leave blank spaces so the kids can write their answers out. This is how we review. It has always helped me make sure I know what they know and if there is anything I forgot or didn’t cover we can go over it then. Here is a picture of one of my sons pages.

He is not crazy about writing and its one of the things we are working on with him. I find that for him I let him write some of the one or two words answers (or draw the answer) and I let him tell me the answers and I write them out for him. If the answer is really long then I just let him tell me and we talk and discuss it. I think it’s important to make this review time about what he has learned and not his writing ability which is stressful at times. Learning this has made our learning experiences so much better and less stressful for everyone.

To end our study, I let each kid watch the bone section and they each took the quiz. I found a fun site that covers all the systems in the human body. Each system has a little video, quiz, and even an activity you can do. Here is the link- Kids Health

This was a really fun week for us. I hope you enjoyed coming along with us on this learning adventure about the human skeletal system! Have a wonderful week and happy homeschooling! 

                                                         Amber Neal 
                                                        Child of God, Friends with Jesus, 
                                                        Wife to Superman, Mom to 3 Goofy Goobers, and
nbsp;                      Lover of learning!

Isn’t that just Awesome?!  Thank you Amber for sharing this great study of bones in the human skeletal system.  It looks like you all learned alot. We can’t wait to see what you will be learning about next. 

To all of our readers, we are so glad you stopped in.  Be sure to sign up for updates and subscribe through email.  Be sure to check out more stories in our Human Body science section too. 

Do you have a Human Body science project and story you would like to share with our readers?  Leave me a comment and I will be in touch.  Thanks!

Be blessed!

This post will be linked up with:
No Time For Flash Cards
Science Sunday
Raising Homemakers
Domestically Divine
Sharing Time

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About Melinda Weiser

I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am on a journey and offer to share my story with the hope that it will bless you. My one desire is to bring glory to my creator. I am a wife and the mother of 6 children, plus two in heaven. I enjoy homeschooling, research, teaching, homesteading, natural gardening, grass based farming, cooking, fresh raw milk, herbs, children, midwifery, and music. I am a writer, biblical mentor, and also work part time in the healthy foods and vitamin business I have a BSW degree from Kansas State University, and trained professionally as a medical social worker, biblical counselor, tutor, and vocal performer. Thank you for stopping by to read about our homeschool and family life adventures. Be blessed!

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