Bones

- Guess the animal quiz. Lay out animal Xrays, give each child a sheet to write their guesses.

I got a couple Xray sets for Christmas, which I wanted to share with the children:

This is the animal one.

- Make model bones. Take wool – one red piece, one blue (artery & vein) – lay the wool on top of a piece of tissue paper (bone marrow), wrap the tissue around, wrap this tube in a sponge (soft part is spongy – cancellous – bone, scratchy bit is compact bone), put the whole thing inside a toilet roll tube (periosteum).

I found this craft on another fantastic home educator’s blog here.

- Sort the animals. Divide the children into two groups & give each group half of the pictures. Encourage them to examine the Xrays & compare the animals. See if the children can identify the groups that the animals belong to. Ask if the children know what all the animals have in common (a spine!)

- Make model spines. Cut egg boxes into sections (vertebrae), cut some spongy discs (intervertebral discs), punch holes through them all, thread egg box sections alternated with discs on a pipecleaner (spinal cord).

Another borrowed craft! I was inspired by this blog.

This is the set of human Xrays I got for Christmas. If you don’t have these sets, you could print Xray pictures of the internet.

- Use pre-printed slips to label the bones.

- Hand out Human Body Ratio Experiment sheets and tape measures. Bone relationship is represented by the following formulas:

P represents the person’s height. The last letter of each formula stands for the known length of the bone (femur, tibia, humerus, or radius) through measurement.

Femur:

P = 61.412 + 2.31F

Tibia:

P = 72.572 + 2.533T

Humerus:

P = 64.977 + 3.144H

Radius:

P = 73.502 + 3.876R

Children should measure their height, the length of their femur, tibia, humerus and radius. Then they should work out whether the formulae are correct in their case.

Here’s the sheet I made to give the children: Bones

In theory, this will be more accurate for the adults than the children, because children are still growing. However, our sample size is not very big!