Friday 12 October 2012

Skeleton model

My younger two children wanted to learn about the human body. We started talking about and modelling the cell and have moved onto the skeleton.

First, we talked about why we have a skeleton. They made a playdough man to demonstrate how difficult it is to stand without support. We put in sticks to act as bones and help the man keep upright.

We also talked about the protective functions of the skeleton and how it contains bone marrow.

Our other objective was to be aware of the proper names of some major bones. OK, I practised as a doctor for many years but in my life as a mother, it has been useful on a couple of occasions to know the proper names for some of the long bones. Whilst I'm not an advocate of doctors speaking so patients can't understand, bones do have names and it is useful for the children to know them. So we made a vegetable model skeleton.

I first saw something a bit like this on Pinterest although this wasn't really for educational purposes.

Anyway, we went ahead and made our own vegetable skeleton.

OK, he isn't perfect-not by a long chalk. For starters ,he only has four pairs of ribs and nothing beyond his radius and ulnar in his arms and beyond his tibia and fibula in his legs.

From a bony point of view, he has

  • skull-brocoli
  • spine-mushroom stalks
  • pelvis-mushrooms
  • clavicle-apple
  • humerus-carrot
  • femur-carrot
  • radius and ulna-carrot
  • tibia and fibula-carrot
  • ribs-green pepper. 

Do the children know the names of the bones? Maybe not all but they are familiar terms now and they certainly enjoyed themselves. Skeleton man has now been eaten!


  1. Hey, what a brilliant idea! I'm copying that down for next spring when Miss 12 will be doing the human body. Thanks so much.

  2. LOVE your skeleton!! What a wonderfully fun way to add some learning fun! Thanks for linking up to TGIF!


  3. I'm going to borrow this idea for my skeleton chapter over the next few weeks- so cool!