What is the Integumentary System?

By Kathy Foust

As part of this series of back to school science lesson plans, the skin lesson plans will teach students about the skin and the various accessory organs that work with the skin.

Organ Systems

Before beginning to focus on the Integumentary System, teachers should introduce students to the concept of organ systems in general. Explain to students that each of the organ systems work together as whole to keep the body functioning, but each organ system has its own specific function. Introduce the organ systems as listed below.

  • Integumentary System
  • Digestive System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Lymphatic and Immune System
  • Respiratory System
  • Urinary System
  • Skeletal System
  • Muscular System
  • Nervous System
  • Endocrine System
  • Reproductive System

Explain to students that this back to school science lesson will focus on the integumentary system.

The Integumentary System

The Integumentary System is the bodies first line of defense against outside stimuli. Offer this fact to the students and ask them to consider what the Integumentary System must include in order for it to function this way. Offer the following questions as topics for them to consider.

  • How do you know when you touch something hot?
  • There is always dust in the air. What keeps this dust from collecting in your eyes?
  • How and why do we sweat?

As students discuss these questions, introduce them to the skin as well as the accessory organs which make up the Integumentary System.The organs are listed below for your convenience.

  • Skin
  • Nails
  • Hair
  • Sweat Glands
  • Sebaceous Glands

Explain some of the functions of each part of the Integumentary System to your students. Ask them to come up with some ideas of their own that explain how some part of the system works. Before handing out the worksheet included in this skin lesson plan, review some of the functions of the skin and accessory organs listed below.

  • Skin- Protecting underlying tissues
  • Nails- Protective covering
  • Hair- external insulation
  • Sweat Glands- Cool the body
  • Sebaceous glands- Coat the hair with oil

After discussing the various jobs of the Integumentary System, ask students to complete the worksheet included with this lesson plan.

Integumentary System