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Why do our skeletons have so many bones?
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DISCUSS:

What do bones do for your body?

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EXTENSION FOR OLDER STUDENTS

Students Grade 3 and up can extend this activity by comparing the human hand to the bones of a mystery animal. Go to the next slide for step-by-step instructions.

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DISCUSS (1 of 2):

How are the bones in bat wings and human hands similar to each other? How are they different?

answer-key

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DISCUSS (2 of 2):

Thinking about how bats use their wings and how humans use their hands, can you explain the differences in their bones?

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Overview
Grade K-5
Topic Current Events And Trending Topics
Focus Bones, Animal Structures
Print Prep
Activity Prep

NOTE: This is our Halloween activity from 2017. It’s possible your students did this last year, but we think it would be fun to do it again! You can also choose from our other Halloween mini-lessons and activities.
In this mini-lesson, K-5 students consider what would happen if their body didn't have bones. In the activity, Skeleton Hand, students combine science with art: they trace their hands, then add see-through bones to their picture, making their own skeleton hand. The activity includes an extension for older students to compare their hand bones to the bones of a mystery animal.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Going Batty (Grades 3-5) worksheet Print 30 copies
Going Batty (Grades 3-5) Answer Key worksheet Print 1 copy
Skeleton Hand Discussion Potential Answers worksheet Print 1 copy
Clean-up Supplies (Eg. Paper Towels)
1 roll
Crayons
Black, dark blue, or purple will work best.
Details
30 crayons
Extra Crayons for Extension (Grades 3-5)
Each 3rd-5th grade student also needs a yellow, green, and red crayon.
Details
90 crayons
Table Covering (eg. Trash Bags)
8 bags
Vegetable Oil
Baby oil or mineral oil will also work.
Details
8 tablespoons
Colored Construction Paper
Yellow, orange, red, or pink will work best.
Details
30 sheets
Plastic Cup (2 oz)
8 cups
Q-tip
30 Q-tips
Prep Instructions

You will need windows to tape your students’ finished skeleton hands to. (Light shines through the art revealing the bones of the skeleton.)

Prepare Cups of Oil

Pour about a tablespoon of oil into a cup for each group of 4 students. You will distribute these during the activity.

Optional Extension for Older Grades

We’ve included a worksheet for students in Grades 3 to 5 to complete after making the skeleton hand. They will have the opportunity to compare the bones in their own arm with the bones in a bat wing.

Overview
Grade K-5
Topic Current Events And Trending Topics
Focus Bones, Animal Structures
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