Our Community Helper for the letter X is X-Ray Technician. Since X-rays are used to examine bones, we started by exploring some of the functions of the skeletal system.
First we explored bones with play dough. Out of each color of play dough I made two similar cylinders of play dough one with a plastic bone inside and one without.
Then I asked all the kids to try to squish them! What do you think happened?
The results showed that although there was some damage to the cylinder with the bone in it, it did maintain some shape. The piece of play dough without the bone just squished into a ball. So we learned one function of our skeleton is to support the rest of our body so we aren't just blobs of tissue. We also talked about how they protect major organs like the ribs protecting our heart and lungs and our skull protecting our brain.
We also talked about the fact that our skeleton gives us a basic shape, and to show this I set out some plastic dinosaurs along with some plastic dinosaur skeletons. Then I had the kids match them up.
While I didn't have a specific activity to go with the other functions, but we did look at the bones and talk about how muscles attached to bones to allow our bodies to move. I also mentioned to them how bone marrow is where blood cells are made.
Of course we couldn't talk about X-Ray Technicians without actually looking at some X-Rays! I borrowed the ones we use for teaching from the clinic for this although I know there are some generic ones you can purchase like these. The girls were amazed to see how many bones actually made up a hand! We also looked at a variety of different animals as well as some broken bones!
After looking at the x-rays, they happily went back to exploring the bones and skeletons with the play dough making imprints or just wrapping the bones back up and re-squishing them!
To see the Community Helpers we explored for the other letters check out our Community Helper Page!