Lesson plan

Bones and the Skeletal System

Assemble a deer skeleton as a class, then look at bones from other animals. Use comparative anatomy to understand the human skeleton by looking at the bones of other animals.
Science content
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Classification of Living Things, Biodiversity (1, 3)
Biology: Food Webs, Ecosystems, Biomes (3, 4)
Biology: Sensing, Organ Systems (4, 5, 6)

Assemble the deer skeleton as a class.

Then use parts of the skeleton in bone Stations that students rotate through. Best for older students. See optional worksheet attached.
Stations (choose four):

  • skeleton comparison to find homologous bones in different animals
  • skull comparison in predators and prey animals
  • jaw bones to compare herbivore teeth of different sizes with
  • bone slices to see internal bone structure
  • chicken leg to feel real tendons and see how they are attached to individual muscles
  • leg bones to see how a leg joint works and compare it to the same joint in the deer skeleton

Summarize the function of bones and the skeletal system: Bones are the scaffolding of the body - they give it its shape and structure. Bones protect delicate organs, like the brain and lungs. Muscles attach to bones for movement. Bones make blood cells and store fat and minerals (such as calcium).

Attached documents
Grades taught
Gr 5
Gr 6