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Functions of the Skeletal System


P.E. & Health, Science  


4, 5, 6  

Title – Functions of the Skeletal System
By – Jen Hughes
Primary Subject – Health / Physical Education
Secondary Subjects – Science
Grade Level – 4-6

Unit: The Skeletal System
National Standard: 6, 5
NJ Core Curriculum Standards: 2.1, 2.2

I. Instructional Objectives:

      A. Cognitive: After the lesson on the functions of the skeletal system, the students should be able to identify and describe the functions of bones in the body, and demonstrate the knowledge by filling out a questionnaire that will be gone over at the end of class.


    B. Social: By the end of the lesson on the functions of the skeletal system, the students should gain experience in working together with their peers while filling out a questionnaire together at the end of class.

II. Materials:

      A. Lesson Plan
      B. Handout/Outline for students
    C. Questionnaire for Students to fill out (assessment)

III. Procedure:

      A. Introduction: Good afternoon everyone! Today we are going to begin talking about the skeletal system. We are going to focus on the functions of the skeletal system. While I am handing these papers out, I want you to think why your bones are an important part of your body. (hand out questionnaire) I am handing out a questionnaire, but I do not want you to fill it out right now, so put your pens down, we are going to go over it together. If you have questions or comments, please raise your hand and wait to be called on. (Go through questions, with students reading the questions, and have SS raise their hands with questions/comments). Ok now that we have looked over the questions, please set aside that sheet and turn it face down in the corner of your desk. I am going to hand out an outline that I want you to follow along. These will be your notes for the day, and we are going to fill it out together as we go.


      B. Content: (the handout/outline will only show the main headings)
        I. Purpose of the Skeletal System:
          A. The skeleton provides the framework for the body. Bones provide the basic shape and structure for the body. What do you think we would look like if we didn’t have bones? Pretty silly right? The bones are like the beams inside of a building, and all of our organs, muscles and skin are organized around the bones, just like the walls of a building.


          B. The skeleton protects organs in the body. Bones can cover and protect many of out major organs. They are like an armor that protects our insides. Can anyone think of any examples?

            1. cranium: protects the brain
            2. ribs/sternum: protects the lungs, heart and some digestive organs
            3. pelvis: protects and supports the digestive and reproductive organs
            4. spinal column: protects the spine
          C. Blood Cell Production. Inside of the long bones in our bodies (we will talk more about the different types of bones later on), there is a cavity that is filled with a substance called Bone Marrow. In this tissue, new blood cells are produced, and damaged blood cells are repaired. We are going to talk more about bone marrow in the next lesson.


          D. Movement. The bones are the levers that help the body move in different directions and in different ways. Here is a question for you all: Do bones move by themselves when we walk, talk or move around? Or are they controlled by something else? What makes them move? Muscles move bones by contracting, which pulls the bone, causing us to move around. The bones by themselves can’t move without the muscles that are connected to them.


          E. Mineral Storage. Can someone describe what a mineral is to the class? It is a substance that the body needs to carry out all of our bodily functions like thinking, breathing and moving around. One of the minerals that the body needs is calcium. Calcium is a major part of bone, and this is where the body stores its calcium. It is very important to make sure you eat enough calcium each day because if you don’t get enough calcium, your body will take the calcium it needs from your bones. Can someone tell me why this could be bad? The less calcium the bone has, the weaker it will become.
      Teaching Strategy:
        1. Go over the questionnaire/assessment in the beginning of class, but do not fill it out until the end. This will allow students to get a preview of the lesson, and give them hints as to what they should come away from the lesson with.


        2. Students will fill in the outline that is distributed in the beginning of the lesson. This will be their notes for the lesson, and it will also help them to practice note-taking skills.


      3. At the end of the lesson, students will complete the questionnaire while working (quietly) together. The questionnaires will be collected, and students should have at least 70% of the questions right.



Name: ____________________________________

Questionnaire: The Skeletal System

      1. What organs give the body shape and support?

        a. Muscles
        b. Bones
        c. Intestines
      2. What bones protect the spinal cord?

        a. Vertebrae/Spinal Column
        b. Ribs
        c. Cranium
      3. Where are blood cells produced?

        a. The Heart
        b. The Veins
        c. The Bones
      4. Which mineral is stored in our bones?

        a. Calcium
        b. Iron
        c. Zinc
      5. What organs allow the body to move in different ways?

        a. Bones
        b. Skin
        c. Muscles
      6. What is the tissue called that produces blood cells?

        a. Blood marrow
        b. Blood cell tissue
      c. Bone marrow



Name: ____________________________________

The Skeletal System: Outline

I. Functions of the Skeletal System



                  1. Cranium:




                  1. Bone Marrow:





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