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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Them Bones
Purpose of Activity:
To enable students to learn the correct names of various bones in the human body by using locomotor skills.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
Patterns of bones in the human skeleton; cut out and anotomical names written on them (one skeleton will be needed/group); variety of locomotor skills and directions from which children can choose (See samples below); Evaluation Worksheet and accompanying Answer Sheet (for the teachers primarily); Physical activity: Science/Anatomy integrated with locomotor skills
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

1. Arrange students in single file lines of no more than four.

2. Place a set of skeleton bone patterns in front of each group at the opposite end of the playing area.

3. Instruct each group member to use a specific locomotor skill (drawn from the stack at the front of each line, you must draw the skill on top and move in the specified manner to get to the specified bone listed on your sheet) to move to the "pile of bones" to get the specified piece of the skeleton and the label required and return to the group. If someone in your group has trouble identifying the particular bone, one person from the group may go and help out until the correct bone is found.

Examples of tasks include:

Jump in a zig-zag path to the neck bones

Run sideways to pick up the rib cage bones

Hop on your left foot to pick up the ilium bones and hop on your right foot back to the group

Bear Walk to pick up the humerus bone

Crab Walk to pick up the humerus bone

Gallop to pick up the ulna & radius bones

Roll to pick up the ulna & radius bones

Crawl to pick up the femur bone

Move sideways at a low level to pick up the femur bone

Run in a curved pathway to pick up the tibia bone

Leap to pick up the tibia bone

Spin to pick up the metatarsal bones

Do a grapevine step to pick up the metatarsal bones

Step-Hop to pick up the metacarpal bones

Walk quickly to pick up the metacarpal bones

4. When all of the bones have been collected, group members assemble the bones according to the arrangement in the human skeleton with the labels beside each bone. When your group is complete yell out "We've got them Bones"and be seated until everyone is finished.

Grade Level Modifications

For older students:

separate bones of the spinal column into cervical, thoracic and lumbar;

separate ribs from sternum; do not write names on bones and ask students to name the bones.

For younger students:

do not separate individual bones of the arms and legs; keep clavicle, sternum and ribs together as one piece;

cut shapes of individual bones into jigsaw pieces and let each group assemble just one bone.

Assessment Ideas:

Them Bones Evaluation Worksheet

Answers to the Worksheet
Deborah Stevens who teaches at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. Posted on PEC: 9/23/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
Products for This Lesson: