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Just a Bag of Bones

September 15, 2010

I think my boys could eat, drink and study science all day long with a little history thrown in. Forget everything else about school unless you want to count lunch as a curriculum choice (which we do for health!) But science just rocks in our house. Even if we have sicknesses or interrupted times of school, science is the one thing the boys beg to be sure that we do.

To find a fun way to start our project and make it real to the boys, we put them up on the wall for all to see! right when you walk into our front door, there is a blank wall. We’ve had various projects there over the years, but this year, it’s the inside and out of both Connor and Aiden, for all of our friends and family to see.

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First, we started off by using some end rolls of paper from large printing presses. They were a fabulous thing my Dad give us a few years ago from his shop. You might be able to find a printing company near you to see if they have end rolls that you can have. Otherwise, rolls of butcher paper can be used. I laid each boy on, and we drew an outline of their body – with much giggling at the tickle parts.  Then we hung them on the wall in preparation for the activities to come.

And the coolest one?! A true-to-life skeleton of Aiden! Jacque Larsen at has this incredible series of kits for digital scrapping and hybrid projects. We took Jacque’s My Skeleton kit

We blew up each piece to approximately 7 inches-ish. We measured each area of Aiden’s body, blew up each piece from Jacque’s files, printed them off in gray-scale to be sure they were the right size, made any sizing adjustments, then printed off the real thing. We cut each piece out, then taped them to the paper body. We only taped the top areas, because underneath each bone group is their name. We’ll use the lift-the-bone activity as a self-testing practice for the boys to learn the bone names and test themselves regularly.

We’ll continue the work on the guts of the project with Jacque’s Anatomy 101 kit:

We’ll add each piece onto the body as we go further and further into his body and study each area. We’ll use red and blue yarn to mimic blood vessels, and yellow yarn to mimic the nervous system.

When I showed Jacque how we were using her kits, she was so excited to see them, and wanted to extend an offer to anyone else who might like to use them! So..while they’re already a great price for you..she’s offering them for 50% off in her store at You must register as a customer and be signed in to use the coupons.

Use coupon code: HS_ROCKS

Expires December 31, 2010

(hints for purchase. Register at the store. Place each item into your cart. Once you’ve added both products to your cart, at the bottom of the screen is a discount code box. Just copy it into the box exactly as it appears and press submit, then continue with check out normally). You’ll receive digital files of your project that you will need an unzipping utility program to open (such as winzip or unzipthemall). Then you’ll have each piece of your body in separate .png files that you can open in any paint program or photo editing program to print off).



Anatomy 101:

Because Connor is so much taller, we had to find an alternative for him, which we have in The Body Book by Scholastic, which creates a hands-on model that will be attached to his drawn body.

We’ll update periodically to show how these projects are progressing.

Do you have any great tips on enrichment activities to supplement the study of the human body? Share your ideas and links in the comments section!

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