Basics of the Skeletal System

Contributor: Hannah Brooks. Lesson ID: 12635

Make no bones about it -- you need your skeleton! Those bones are your personal support system, keeping you from collapsing like a deflated basketball. Learn about their other vital functions as well!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • Have you ever seen boneless chicken in the meat counter at the store?
  • How do the chickens get around without bones?

OK, dumb question, but learn what a skeleton is and how important bones are!

  • Did you know you are born with more bones than you have during adulthood?

Babies are born with about 270 bones, which grow together over time to form the 206 bones found in adults. These bones make up the human skeleton, which is an integral part of the human body.


The skeletal system functions to assist humans with movement and support. It interacts with other systems like the muscular and circulatory systems. The muscular system helps us move, while the circulatory system brings blood into bones.

Bones have a pretty interesting structure. Watch The Structure of Bones video below and respond to the following questions:

  1. What do the layers of bone consist of?
  2. What is found at the center of the bone?
  3. What type of cells help repair a broken bone?
  4. What gives bones strength?
  5. Why are bones light?
  6. Why is yellow membrane important?
  7. What does spongy bone look like?


Use the interactive below to check your answers:

The structure of bones is important because they provide stability and support to the entire body. Without strong bones, it would difficult to run, bike, or play catch.

Take time to learn about some important bones in the skeletal system. Print the Skeletal Bones Graphic Organizer found in the Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. As you learn about each bone, record the name, location, and a quick sketch on the Skeletal Bones Graphic Organizer.

Watch and listen to the Kids Learning Tube The Human Body for Kids/Learn about the Human Body for Children/Skeleton video and fill in the Skeletal Bones Graphic Organizer. You may need to pause or repeat the video to collect all the information:


Your Skeletal Bones Graphic Organizer will help you complete the matching game in the Got It? section. Discuss what you have learned about bone structure and location with a parent or teacher. Ask if they have ever broken a bone.

  • What was the healing like? 
  • How do you think the structure of bones promotes healing? 

Bones help us grow and move in our environment. It would be very difficult to function without them, because all of our other systems depend on bones for structure and support!

In the Got It? section, you will practice identifying bones and learn more about functions of the skeletal system.

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