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Measuring Growth in the Human Skeleton

By Kathy Foust

Create interest in science for your students by using skeletal system lesson plans that ask the students to take a look at their own systems. This lesson plan is part of a fun project that introduces various systems in such a way as to leave the student wanting more!

Skeletal systems lesson plans can be fun to do for students because they can actually relate to the material and see it at work on their own bodies. This particular lesson plan requires the students to observe and document aspects about themselves to complete a project that's easy and fun to do! Begin by explaining the skeletal system to your students as listed below. Don't forget to include the fun facts that are included!

In humans, the skeletal system is made up of an endoskeleton, which means that the system is inside the body rather than outside as it is in those with exoskeletons. As we grow, our skeletal system develops in parts. For example, when a baby is born their head is already 1/3 the size it will be when they are an adult. Can you imagine what a person would look like if their head grew at the same pace as their legs? The skeletal system is made up of bones and joints that support and protect the body. Your legs, for instance, support the weight of your body as you stand, but your ribs protect your organs, as does your skull.

Fun Facts

  • Human infants are born with 300 bones. By the time humans reach adulthood they have only 206 bones.
  • The femur (thigh bone) is the biggest bone in the human body. The ossicles (3 bones in your ear) are the smallest.
  • You're shorter at the end of the day than you were when you woke up.

Skeletal System Activity

As part of the time capsule that you are creating with your class, you'll need some measurements so the students can see how much they have grown at the end of the year. To do this activity you will need a scale and a tape measure. Take the following measurements of the students.

  • weight
  • height
  • foot size (Measure the foot from the back of the heel to the tip of the big toe.)
  • hand size (Measure the hand from the back of the heel to the tip of the middle finger.)

Write these measurements down and place them in the envelope that you handed out in the first lesson plan in this human body lesson plans collection.