The skeletal system is one of the main systems of the human body. Without the skeletal system, the human body would not be able to survive. The skeletal system provides support to the body, helps protect vital organs and also helps with movement in conjunction with the muscular system. Children can learn more about the skeletal system and how it works through a variety of experiments.
Chicken Wing Movement
Chicken wings provide children with an excellent opportunity to study the skeletal system. The kids can examine how the skeletal system and muscular system work together to cause movement. By slightly tugging on the bicep muscle, the children can see how the wing bone moves. The movement can be compared to what occurs when the tricep muscle is pulled. The children can also pull on the muscles with varying pressure, and see how the wing movement changes. This helps kids see how movement occurs in the body.
To investigate bone strength, allow children to examine cooked chicken bones. Ask the children to see if they can break the bones. They can examine different areas of the bone and see where it is strongest and see if they can apply enough pressure to break the bones. Then soak some of the chicken bones in vinegar. Ask the children to make predictions about what they believe will happen to the bones soaked in vinegar. After a week, examine these bones and compare them to the bones that were not soaked. Vinegar degrades the calcium in the bones, making them much weaker. Children can then learn about the importance of calcium for the body.
Owl pellet investigation
Another method for investigating the skeletal system is to look at an owl pellet. When owls eat, they ingest the entire creature. However, they do not digest the bones. They expel a pellet that is largely comprised of bones and fur. These owl pellets often contain two-to-three animals and can be dissected. Children can them attempt to recreate the skeletons of the creatures that the owl consumed and can attempt to identify them.
Cow Bone Dissection
A fresh cow bone provides children with the opportunity to investigate the skeletal system. A butcher can cut a cow bone along the femur so that the inside of the bone can be seen. In this dissection, children can see yellow marrow, red marrow, compact bone, spongy bone and blood vessels.