The Magic School Bus Flexes Its Muscles
Explore bones and joints by comparing students' hands and arms with a chicken wing.
- Grades: 3–5
Field Trip Notes
Ralphie's bored with chores, so he daydreams about building a robot to do his tasks. Before he can start, the Magic School Bus's mesmerglobber blows a gasket. At the body shop, Ralphie and the kids use spare parts to build a Ralphiebot. But the robot doesn't move! By trial and error, the kids learn that everything "hinges" on understanding how their own bodies move. They use parts that are like bones, joints, and muscles to get Ralphiebot working. But now the giant robot is out of control! Can Ralphie take Rapphiebot apart before he destroys the body shop?
Give Me a Hand
Time: 40 minutes
Group Size: Four
Ms. Frizzle's class uses a fantastical machine to see inside the human body. Your students can explore bones and joints by comparing their own hands and arms with a chicken wing.
What You Need
- Copies of GIVE ME A HAND
- 1 chicken wing per group
Ahead of Time
Boil chicken wings for 5-10 minutes. Push meat off, but leave bones intact. Boil two minutes in soapy water.
Talk About It
Ask: How many bones and joints do you think your body has? (206 bones; more than 230 joints)
What To Do
- Show students the chicken wings. Ask: What different parts do you see? (Hard parts — bones; places where bones connect — joints; stringy material — ligaments.)
- Give each group one chicken wing and copies of the activity page.
- Have children record the similarities and differences between their own arms and the wing, including size, number of bones and joints (we have 32 bones and 20 joints from shoulder to hand; wings have 10 bones and 6 joints, including tiny bones at tip), movement, skin, etc.
Have children “make a muscle,” place hand on the muscle, and bend their forearms up and down. Ask: What do you feel? (muscle movement) One what other parts of your body can you “make a muscle”?