This collection of 10 videos goes with a 4th grade unit on the Human Body, with a special focus on the skeleton and muscles. Our FOSS science curriculum mainly focuses on the skeleton and muscles, but also mentions other aspects of the human body such as care, staying healthy, and exercising. Other human body systems are not introduced in this unit. The final video in this collection goes with the lesson that follows the video resource list.

Dem Bones Song- ...Yes, the age old song! A fun activity would be to try to sing the song using the real names for the bones.

Muscular System

This very basic video explains three types of muscles and the functions of each. This may be a good choice for ELL students as the speaker speaks slowly and the vocabulary explanations are excellent.

Muscular System
Gives weight lifting examples, which the boys will love! Good visuals and examples of the 3 different muscles are found in this video. This is a little more advanced as it introduces actin and myosin in muscles, and could be used for higher-level students who are ready for a challenge.

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab

Fizzy encourages good eating by showing kids how to “Shop the U,” which means the outside edges of the supermarket. This is where to “good for you” foods are usually located: meats, dairy, produce. Staying away form packaged and frozen foods is discouraged. I can see planning a menu in conjunction with watching this video.

McDonald’s vs Fruit

Nutrition examples like Gatorade vs. fruit choices are included here. There are good visuals and striking comparisons that will jolt students into really looking at the food they eat to stay healthy.

The Skeletal System

Excellent for upper elementary and middle school, this video discusses the different types of bones, bone marrow, and even talks about what happens when a bone breaks. This video is in two parts: Axial skeleton and Appendicular skeleton. For planning purposes, this makes it easy for the teacher to break down a lesson if needed. Some nice comparisons at the end.

Strength and Flexibility of Bones Students will LOVE this tornado reenactment to show how strong our bodies really are.

Owl Pellets Song
This is a song about owl pellets and I know 4th graders will absolutely love it. Not only is it funny, but the singer also explains what an owl pellet is, and he describes how students can look inside to find bones of rodents or small animals.

Owl Pellet Dissection

A student performs a dissection and compares bones found inside of an owl pellet to a chart to see what kinds of bone are there. An extension would be to compare the bones of the rodent, bird, or other animal found inside the pellet to human bones.

Chicken Wing Dissection
This short video put to music, shows a student dissecting a chicken wing, start to finish. There are labels throughout the video so students know what they are looking at. This is a great way to see inside the skin to see how muscles work together, as well as how tendons and ligaments work. There is a mistake in labeling that I would hope the students could point out!

Lesson Plan

Name: Tracey Gieson

Lesson Title: How do muscles help us move?

Introduction: Students will be shown a video on dissecting a chicken wing. This is an introductory video showing what students will be looking for when they do their own chicken wing dissection (muscle, tendon, ligament). Ultimately, students will learn how muscles help us move.

Content area and grade: Science 4th grade


  • The students will be able to identify a tendon.
  • The students will be able to identify a ligament.
  • The students will be able to describe the function of a tendon.
  • The students will be able to describe the function of a ligament.
  • The students will be able to identify skeletal muscles and their function.


Science as Inquiry Standards (from National Science Education Standards)

  • Understanding of scientific concepts.
  • An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
  • Understanding of the nature of science.
  • Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
  • The dispositions to use the skills, abilities, and attitudes associated with science (p. 105).

Life Science Content Standards:

  1. Structure and function in living systems
  2. Personal health (p. 106)

Relative Advantage: The relative advantage of using the video in the introduction of this lesson is students will be “front loaded” and will know what they are looking for when they conduct the dissection themselves. Ligaments and tendons are difficult to find in the chicken muscle and being shown initially will prepare them.

Timeline: This lesson will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Materials: internet connection, video:, dissection trays, scalpels, science scissors, probes, 1 chicken wing per 2 students, gloves, 409 for cleanup, science journals for observations.

Grouping strategies: Students will be in one group to show/discuss the video. For the dissection, they will be in groups of 2.

Learning activities:

  1. Watch the video together. Discuss.
  2. In pairs, students will dissect a chicken wing to find:
    1. Tendons
    2. Ligaments
    3. Observe how ligaments attach bone to bone, and tendons attach muscle to bone.
    4. Students will discuss with their partners what they see and write observations in their journals.
    5. Students will show their knowledge through a performance assessment, demonstrating their findings and movement of the muscles, tendons and ligaments, and describing the function of skeletal muscles.

Assessment Plan: Performance assessment. Students will have to show a tendon and a ligament they found in the chicken muscle and/or on the bone. They will have to explain the function of each, and also tell how they are similar and different. Their observations will also be written in their journals and I will be looking for an answer to the lesson question: “How do muscles help us move?”

Adaptations or learners with special needs: (ELL) Prior to the lesson, students will visit my Moodle site, which has a science link to all of the vocabulary (with pictures). Also found on my Moodle site is a link to the FOSS website which includes games that use the vocabulary we will use in class.


Chicken wing dissection video retrieved from:

National Research Council. National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1996.