Musculoskeletal System

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SWBAT to explain interaction between the skeletal and the muscular system during movement.

Big Idea

Students develop argument to explain example of how body systems interact with another in human body.


5 minutes

To engage students in this lesson I show them the video below.  This video explains the science behind Tommy John surgery, which is a surgical procedure in which the ulnar collateral ligament in the medial elbow is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. The procedure is common among collegiate and professional athletes in several sports, most notably baseball.  

As I've mentioned before in my lessons I strive to find real life applications to what I cover in class in order to bring meaning to my content.  My students are big baseball fans therefore this is a great way in connecting their interests and background knowledge to lesson.

Before playing the video it is important to do a quick review of both the skeletal and muscular system (systems we have covered before this lesson).  I follow the review by surveying kids to find out how many enjoy watching/playing baseball, and to see how many have had the experience of pitching a baseball.

Possible pre-video questions:

1)  How do bones stay in place?

2)  How do bones move?

3)  What part of the body is important for a pitcher to maintain healthy? Why?

It's important to model the use of videos as informational, rather than merely entertainment. It is also a good idea to check in on student understandings. I do this using questioning.

Possible post-video questions:

1)  What is the job of a ligament in a pitcher's elbow?

2)  To repair injury what two bones are drilled?

3)  What is used to connect the humerus and ulna together?

4)  What are a couple of reasons given for the increase in Tommy John injuries?


30 minutes

In this section of lesson students explore the anatomy of an arm by using a chicken wing as a model (SP2).  

Although there are obvious differences between the anatomy of humans and chickens, one structure that shows similarities in structure and to some degree in function is chicken wing and a human arm.  In this activity students explore the structure of a chicken wing to learn the function and structure of the human arm.

At the end of chicken wing dissection lab  (courtesy of Manhattan Beach Unified School District) students should be able to answer the following question:

How do the muscles, bones, and tendons work together to move a joint of a chicken wing and how do they compare to a human arm? 

"Look for Purpose":  Identify and describe the function of tendons and ligaments through manipulation.

Below is a video of a chicken wing dissection, which might be helpful if this is your first time doing this.



Here is a video of my students identifying muscles while manipulating muscles to cause movement.


10 minutes

To explain the chicken wing movement that students observed when pulling either the bicep or tricep, I show the students the video below.  The Muscles Moving Your Bones video (by funsciencedemos) does a great job in demonstrating how the contraction of either the bicep or tricep results in arm movements in a way that is accessible to my students.  I have students model arms movements which addresses the needs of both my visual and kinesthetic learners.

After watching the video, I ask the students to explain arm movement using evidence from the video and the terminology from page one of the chicken wing dissection lab (RST.6-8.1).  I'm looking for students to use the following words in their explanation: bicep, tricep, contraction, extension, tendon.


10 minutes

In the next section of lesson I have students read an informational text on muscles, bones, and movement.  Students compete a SQ3R while reading text.  

SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Review) is a literacy strategy used to predict the main ideas of the text based on context clues, to generate questions about a given topic and to organize and review the knowledge learned about the topic using the SQ3R strategy.

In addition to text you may want to show the following video, which reinforces what what students are learning in this lesson.


5 minutes

In the last section of lesson I assess learning objective by having students complete an exit slip.

1) The exit slip assesses student understanding that the body is a system of interacting subsystems. (MS-LS1-3) (Crosscutting Concepts - Systems and System Models)

2) Also, the exit slip requires students to develop an argument through the use of a claim supported by evidence from a variety of sources and logical reasoning. (SP7) (W.7.1)

Time permitting you may give students the following quiz: Muscles, Bones, and Movement Quiz to assess mastery of content.