The Muscular System

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SWBAT name and describe the function of major muscles of the human body.

Big Idea

Major muscle groups allow the human body to move and accomplish tasks.


10 minutes

I begin this lesson by asking students to read an article on the muscular system. This article introduces students to the functions of the muscular system. As we read, I ask students to use the close read annotation symbols to mark important facts, new information, and information about which they have further questions. After the students have completed reading and text-marking the article, I provide them with time to share their text marks with the peers at their table groups. This sharing time is important because it allows students to repeat key facts and ask for clarification about parts of the passage which they found confusing. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

Next, I distribute a copy of the muscular system handout to each student. We work together to name each major muscle and to color code the muscle handout. As we review the names of the muscles, I ask students to help think of ways to help remember each muscle name.


25 minutes

To help my students practice their muscle names, I lead the students in a game of Simon Says. To play, I ask students to touch or move one muscle (For example, "Simon says, touch your deltoid.") If a student cannot remember the muscle, they are 'out' and sit down in their chair. I continue until only one student remains standing. At that point, the student left standing gets to run the next round of the game. I continue the game until most of the students are able to remember the majority of the muscles. I also send an email home to the parents encouraging them to continue to play the Simon Says game at home to help their child remember the names of their muscles.

A video of my students playing Muscular System Simon Says can be found here.


15 minutes

A few days after teaching the students the muscle names, I give students a quiz to check their mastery of muscle names. Because I am testing their recall of muscle names, not spelling, I provide each student with a muscular system word list to use with their assessment.