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Students play a “Simon Says Name That Bone” game in this lesson


P.E. & Health, Science  


4, 5  

Title – Dem Bones

By – Amber

Primary Subject – Science

Secondary Subjects – PE-Health

Grade Level – 4-5


  • The student will participate in an activity to help them name the major bones in the body.

    Time Frame: 30 minutes


  • Dem Bones tradebook

    , by Bob Barner
  • Teacher overhead of skeleton/skeleton poster


    • STANDARD 3: LIFE SCIENCE – Experiences in grades 3-5 will allow all students to build an understanding of biological concepts through direct experience with living things, their life cycles, and their habitats.

      • Benchmark 1: Grade 3 and 4 students will develop a knowledge of organisms in their environment.

        • Indicator 1: The students will compare and contrast structural characteristics and functions of different organisms.


  • The teacher will ask students to name the 3 functions of the skeleton (protection, support, and movement).
  • The teacher will tell the students that they will be playing a game to help them learn the names of the major bones in the human body.


  • The teacher will read the book,

    Dem Bones

    , leaving out the musical lyrics.
  • As each bone is described in the book, the teacher will label the bone on the overhead so students can associate the bone name with the visual representation of the bone. The skeleton poster may be helpful during this review time.
  • Once the teacher has read the book, she will ask students to sing along with her as they reread the lyrics. The song may be practiced several times if time permits.


  • The teacher will tell students to stand up behind their desks.
  • The students will be playing a version of Simon Says, where they point to the name of a certain bone when “Simon” tells them to do so.
  • The object of the game is to be the last student still standing that has correctly identified all of the proper bone names.
  • If time permits, the winner of the game can be “Simon” for the next round.

    ELABORATE (extension):

  • After playing the game, the teacher will give each student the opportunity to share the name of one bone name they learned by playing the game.
  • This serves as a helpful study review and informal assessment.


  • The teacher will make informal observations during the game, and take notes as needed.
  • If students seem to struggle with bone names, more practice should be given.
  • This activity serves as preparation for unit assessment.

    Modifications: If the game finishes early, more rounds of Simon Says can be played. Students may also journal what they learned from the game.

    ESL Modification: The picture book, overhead, and posters being used are a useful tool that promotes visual learning. The transparency of the skeleton is available in Spanish.




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