Third graders on the 45th Street campus have spent the first weeks of science class this school year learning about their body and what they can do to take care of it. This study has included explorations of nutrition, muscles, and bones. As a culminating project for our bones unit, students constructed their very own skeletons made out of Q-tips!
Students began by gluing down the skull and ribs, then the spine. Then, they added two bones each for the arms and the legs. Next, they cut Q-tips in half to represent the feet and fingers. To complete their project, students added labels to six of the bones: the skull, ribs, spine, femur, humerus, and phalanges. As they worked, students thought critically about how the different bones in our body connect to one another to create the entire, functional skeleton or skeletal system. As they worked on the project individually, students constructed knowledge together by pointing out many other parts of the body!
I love doing this project and observing the finished products as an educator because even though students all follow the same directions, the skeletons always come out looking wildly different. Some of the skeletons stand up straight like soldiers; others look like they’re dancing. Some look as neat and mimic the teacher’s example; others reflect a child’s unique approach to motor planning. The finished skeletons are displayed on our classroom wall in the Willow Room. Students can refer back to them to continuously solidify their knowledge of bone names and how their bodies are constructed and work. Of course, they also make a fun and creative Halloween decoration for the classroom created by our very own students- one that the class can look back on, and be proud of themselves for creating!