Elementary Science Program


brainHuman Body

Observe and investigate the human muscular and skeletal systems . Gain experience with the use of photographs, diagrams, and models to gather information:

  • Build mechanical models to illustrate how muscles are responsible for human movement

  • Investigate the response times of hands and feet

  • Acquire the vocabulary associated with the skeletal and
    muscular systems

Keep in mind that the goal of this unit is to study bones and skeletons, not owls.  Certainly, there is nothing wrong with satisfying some of the children's curiosity about owls and owl pellets, just don't lose track of the unit goals.


  • Books for Kids
  • Teacher Resources
  • Web Sites
  • Tips and Hints

Books for Kids

Bone Detectives: How Forensic Anthropologists Solve Crimes and Uncover Mysteries of the Dead by Donna M. Jackson. ISBN: 0316829358. (PPS and Outstanding Science Books for Children) Capitalizes on children's natural interest in the macabre to present some interesting lessons about what scientists can learn  by investigating bones.

Animals in Motion: How Animals Swim, Jump, Slither, and Glide. Pamela Hickman and Pat Stephens. Kids Can Press, 2000, ISBN 1-55074-573-5. Explorations describe how some animals are able to move so fast, like the cheetah that reaches a speed of 112 km/h, and why others are able to travel so far, like the albatross that glides over vast ocean expanses. Many experiments for students and teachers to perform are included. Grades K-8 (Science and Children, Nov/Dec 2000, p 46.)

Reader's Digest Pathfinders: The Human Body Laurie Beckelman. Reader's Digest Books for Children, 1999.  This is a highly attractive compendium of facts, photographs, and diagrams that will fascinate readers of all ages. Discussions include vocabulary, historical vignettes, as well as projects and experiments. Grades 3-6 (Science and Children, Nov/Dec 2000, p 46.)

Book of Science Questions that Children Ask Jack Meyers. Boyds Mills Pr, 1995, ISBN 1563974789. An 11-year old reader from Broomall, Pa, writes "This book help me do my homework all the time. Trust me and buy this book." (amazon.com) Selected from back issues of Highlights for Children magazine, this collection of answers to over 350 children's questions about science covers a wide range of science topics. (ENC Focus, vol 8, No 3, 2001, p 92)

Teacher Resources

Human Body Curriculum Companion contains detailed resources tailored to modules dealing with the human body. Take a look at the growing list of resources for this module. Background info, enrichment, interdisciplinary ideas, images, assessment, tips and comments, and kids web pages are all included in this useful site.

Check the Foss website to work with interactive simulations, to write questions to a scientist, to find teaching tips, and to talk with other classes using FOSS.

Human Body


Web Sites

Access Excellence Living Skeleton: A Tour of Human Bones
Select a region of the human skeleton and then look at x-ray pictures of the bones. You can look at labeled or unlabeled pictures. In addition to pictures of normal, healthy bones, there are also pictures showing fractures. Pictures need to be viewed on the monitor or projected for classroom viewing. Wonderful resource!!

Neuroscience for kids Did you know you can be right-eared as well as right-handed? Find out more and prepare for Brain Awareness Week in March with these engaging resources and activities about the brain and the nervous system.

Kid Wings presents a vitrual owl pellet dissection. As you take the owl pellet apart, you see bones which you can move to the appropriate places on the diagram of a rodent skeleton. Almost as good as the real thing, and a great way to review the process.

Tips and Hints