What would happen if you didn't have a skull?
Mystery 18 image
What would happen if you didn't have a skull?
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DISCUSS:

How is your skull an important part of your body? (There's more than one way!)

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Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this mini-lesson, students learn about the structure and function of their skulls. In the activity, My Paper Skull, students combine science with art as they examine their own heads and make discoveries about their skull. Using their observations, they create a mask that shares characteristics with their own skull. Younger students create a simple mask; older students create a mask with a moveable jaw.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Scissors
1 pair per student
Cranium and Jaw (Grades 3-5) printout 1 per student
Skull (Grades K-2) printout 1 per student
Prep Instructions

We offer two versions of this activity. The activity for younger students — making a skull model that can be used as a mask — involves less construction and requires less precision. The activity for older students — making a skull model/mask with a moveable jaw — requires cutting skills that might be difficult for a younger student.

Background Information for Older Students

At the end of the activity for older students, we ask: “Do you think the paper skull’s jaw works the way your jaw works? What’s the same about it? What’s different?”

The paper skull’s jaw works like a sliding door. Your own jaw has a hinge — like the hinge on a laptop computer or the hinge on a door. If you put your hands on the sides of your head just below your ears, you can feel this hinge moving as you open your mouth.

Download this Mystery to your device so you can play it offline: