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20 October 2014
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Moving and growing - lesson plan

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A Skeleton
  1. To know that humans and some other animals have bony skeletons inside their bodies.
  2. To understand the role of both kinds of skeletons.
  3. To recognise the main parts of these skeletons.

National Curriculum

Sc2, 2e.


You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to access the PDF files. BBC Webwise has a complete guide to downloading and installing Adobe Acrobat reader.

Teaching activities


  1. Watch Learning Zone Class Clips - Skeletons. Ask the children to list five key facts that they learnt from the clip.
  2. Display the diagram of the human skeleton. Ask different children to locate a named bone, attach the display label and suggest a job this bone does (protection, support or movement).
  3. Show the children the chicken and fish bones. Explain that these are bones from the internal skeletons of other animals. Ask the children to suggest words to describe these bones (eg hard, smooth, strong). Are some bones stronger than others? Why?
  4. Show the diagram of the chicken skeleton. How is this skeleton similar to the human skeleton? Can they recognise any of the bones they know in the human skeleton? Label these.
  5. What differences can they see between the chicken and human skeletons?
  6. Show children the pictures of animals with exoskeletons. Explain that these animals have skeletons on the outside rather than the inside of their bodies. Show the children the king prawn or shrimp. Ask if any children have ever eaten them. If so, which part did they eat?
  7. Peel off the shell of the prawn or shrimp (the exoskeleton). What words would the children use to describe it?
  8. Look at the internal part of the body. What words best describe this?
  9. What job is this exoskeleton doing? Can the children think of any other animals with exoskeletons?


  1. Divide the class into pairs and ask each pair to use the Bitesize moving and growing activity.
  2. Ask each pair to look at an animal moving and then click the Labels button to look at that animal's skeleton and label the main parts.
  3. Ask each pair to find information on how the ant's exoskeleton is similar to and also different from a human skeleton by reading the pop-up information in the Bitesize moving and growing activity.


Make a chart of the similarities and differences between a human skeleton and an ant's exoskeleton using the information the children have found.


  1. Ask the children to create a rap about the key learning from the day's session (this should be to a well-known tune such as Twinkle Twinkle).
  2. Ask the children to work through the Bitesize moving and growing quiz or the Moving and growing worksheet (PDF 143KB).
  3. Ask the children to complete Pod's Mission - Bones game.


Ask the children to make lists of animals with internal skeletons and those with exoskeletons that they would find in a local habitat (eg garden, wood, playground).

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