Lyndsey has put up her Skeletons and the excitement level in her classroom is through the roof! Why? Because the best thing you can do for your students is to bring science into the classroom. Kindergarten students are natural scientists! And with the engagement of a science-based theme, such as skeletons, you are able to teach all cross-curricular academic skills with high engagement!
Because we have seen this science engagement positively affect academics, we have built many of our thematic units in such a manner. Here is what one parent said when receiving a preview of the new science center.
"I showed this to _____ and after looking at it for 5 minutes she said "Mom, I'm so excited!! I can't stop looking at it!!" 💀.
That is exactly what we as early educators want, totally engaged students who can't wait to get to our classroom each day.
This song gets everyone excited, especially at Halloween time. "What?" "We're a skeleton?"
After the song use this free lesson to set the stage for your unit.
Objectives: Children will learn about bones and the skeleton.
Materials: Skeleton model (you can usually find full size paper or plastic skeletons at any discount store), X-Rays (really, hospitals or vet offices will give you some, or you can purchase at stores such as Lakeshore), Sheets of paper, paper plate, counters, animal bones (including one that is broken). *Bones can be purchased from any butcher. In fact, they usually give them to your for free.
I see (number of children) skeletons. (I like to pause with dramatic effect). Guess what! You are the skeletons that I see.
Bones and muscles give our body its shape. Did you know that we have more than 200 bones inside our very own body? The whole set of bones in our body is called a skeleton.
(Show students a real bone). Bones are hard on the outside but soft on the inside. Bones protect the inside of our bodies, the skull protects the brain, and the ribcage protects the heart and other organs. Drinking milk makes our bones strong. Can you feel your bones under your skin? Instruct the children to feel their hand, arm, and rib bones.
Show the children a basket of X-Rays. An X-Ray is a picture of the inside of a persons body. Hold up each X-Ray, one at a time, against the white board. Instruct the children to compare the X-Ray to the skeleton model. Where is the bone shown in the X-Ray on your body?
Show the children the basket of real animal bones. Look at this broken bone! Point out that the bone is porous and hollow.
Roll up a sheet of paper about one inch wide into a cylinder, then place a paper plate on top of the hollow “bone”. Ask a child to add bear counters to the plate one at a time as they are counted. Let's count how many bears the plate can hold before it collapses the “bone”.
Roll up another sheet of paper as tightly as you can so that there is no hollow section. Stand up this “bone” on the table before placing the same plate on top. Add bear counters to the plate until the “bone” collapses. Ask the children Which bone was able to hold more weight? The hollow center gave the bone a better design and made it stronger. The large bones in our body are also hollow, which makes them strong so they can support more weight, but also light and easy to move.
After this lesson, I follow up throughout the week with many great activities that are science, literacy, math, music, and writing based. (See the unit description below for activity specifics).
I also sing lots of skeleton themed songs like the one below, which I sing to the tune of Ghost Riders In The Sky. A tribute to Calvin (my father-in-law) who taught me about this song.
This song is really fun to sing because it is easy to add a lot of dramatic effects. The title above links to an instrumental track for you to sing along to. Below, I sing the song for you so that you can see how I have adapted the song to the tune. To print the song, simply click and drag to your desktop and print as you would any jpg.
Also, my skeleton unit wouldn't be the same without a few great videos.
Enter the code BONES when purchasing this fun-engaging unit to receive 50%.
Also available at TPT
Bones is His Name: Metacognition
Six Swinging Skeletons: Naming and Generating Beginning Sounds
Skeleton Town: Uppercase Alphabetical Order
Skeleton Dance: Matching Letters
Black & White Party: Opposites
Skeleton March: Graphophonemic knowledge
Skeleton Match-Up: Matching Quantity With Numbers
The Bone Yard: Counting Backwards
Skeleton Squeeze: Greater & Less Than
Collecting Bones: Counting & Cardinality
Skeleton Family: Writing Numbers
The Skeleton March
The Ghost of John
Q-Tip Skeletons: Following directions to make a skeleton.
The Human Skeleton: Magnet Skeletons
Guided Reading Books
What I Know About Skeletons
Skeleton Word Wall Words