Last week we learned all about cells, and this week our focus was on Dem Bones! We learned why we need bones, what they do, and their names. Since I am teaching K-2nd graders, I try to incorporate many different activities to help them learn. This week we learned a song about bones, played a skeleton game, created a skeleton, and more.
Learning About Bones
First we learned that bones provide structure, make red blood cells, and store minerals we need. We also learned the names of some of the bones. One of the first things that popped in my mind while preparing this lesson was the old song, “Dem Bones”. Bob Barner has a cute book that illustrates the song.
Dem Bones by Bob Barner (afflink)
Then I found a silly version on iTunes and played it for the kids. After listening to the song once, we played it again and pointed to all the parts during the song—and did our own silly bone dance.
Dem Bones by Juice Music (afflink)
After getting all our wiggles out, we put together a magnetic skeleton (afflink) and labeled it.
I printed out a life-size toddler skeleton and gave each child a piece. Then they had to work as a group to put it together using their new knowledge on bones (yes, I could have done something more complicated, but I did not want to overwhelm them the first day.)
Since we were already moving around, we sang the “Bone Bounce” song and played a version of “Simon Says”. You can find the printables to this in the Doin’ the Bone Dance article toward the bottom.
For our craft of the day, each child make a paper doll of their body. The front of the paper doll was decorated to look like them. The second paper doll was painted black (ahead of time by me) and the kids drew their skeleton with chalk. These dolls were layered together and attached with a brass fastener.
I bought these paper doll cutouts from Hobby Lobby in the summer because I figured I’d do something with them. The bad thing was that they were bigger than a piece of construction paper so I couldn’t just trace the doll onto a black piece of paper. To remedy that, I painted each person black. You could do the same thing, or you could find a smaller paper doll template and trace one on black paper.
One of the moms in our group is a paramedic, so she brought in a full-sized skeleton. I wish I would have seen her drive up that day. I heard she strapped the skeleton in her front seat in order to drive it to class. I bet she got a couple of strange looks while driving. 🙂
We joined the older kids to observe chicken bones.
The kids broke a bone in order to see the marrow inside. They thought it was pretty cool and gross at the same time. 🙂
Each week my kids color in their My Body coloring book (afflink) and draw or write about one thing they learned for the week as homework. You can find all the past posts on the human body by clicking the button below.
Bones Take-Home Sheet
Dem Bones Challenge Sheet
See more of our human body unit here:
Hmmmm….. I'm thinking you could also use black construction paper instead of having to paint all of those………
Love all of these ideas.
Caden loves being in your class! He is always telling me something new that he learned in class. And he is very proud of all of his projects! Thank you!
Ticia–that was my plan but these cut-outs were bigger than a standard size paper. That's what happens when I wing-it–lol!
Linda–so glad he's having fun! 🙂
Deb @ Living Montessori Now says
You have so many awesome anatomy activities and printables, Maureen! Thanks so much for sharing! I featured your life-size toddler skeleton puzzle photo and your skeleton posts and printables in my Montessori-Inspired Skeleton Unit at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/10/22/montessori-monday-montessori-inspired-skeleton-unit/
Thank you Deb!
Mrs. Mordecai says
Thank you so much for this great outline! I am using several of your ideas for preschool today. 🙂
Don’t print out.. I wasted time and paper, followed the instructions and parts don’t match up correctly in spots…
Awesome, thank you! I was searching for printable bones (life size) to have my kids assemble for our study of bones this week. This is exactly what I was looking for =) Thanks for sharing all your ideas!
Maureen Spell says
You’re welcome! 🙂
Susen @ Dabbling Momma says
My preschooler has been asking about bones and this post will help tremendously! Pinned!
Thanks so much for all of this. I’m just beginning pre-school homeschooling while my son attends a public pre-school in Canberra, Australia.
He learns all the time and loves the human body. Just a question, did you make the worksheet with a scripture on it and the pics? I’d love to know where you sourced it if you didn’t make it.
I’m trying to tie in scripture as much as possible with everything I do.
Maureen Spell says
I’ll have to look and see if I can find the file.
I’m looking for life sized toddler skeleton print out. When I clicked on the link it took me to a different website.
Maureen Spell says
Yes, the print-out comes from that other site. The link is listed on their page.