Many teachers believe there are few more effective ways to learn something than playing a game. They allow students to repeat information many times and create a positive association with the lesson. Many games are also visual, giving students a way to picture the information. This is especially important when studying the skeletal system. The bones must fit together in a certain order, making matching games, speed games, and fast, fun quizzes an effective mode for learning bone structure.
Skeletal system games may be modified for different kinds of students working at different learning levels. At the elementary level, for instance, skeletal system games that allow the students to get up and move around usually work best. For students in first through third grades, the teacher might split the class into two teams. Each team must use white paper to create a model of each major bone in the body. Afterward, the students have to assemble the paper bones in the right order. The team that assembles their skeleton the fastest wins.
Educators may modify this game for fourth through sixth graders by having them write down the names of the bones on sticky notes. In this instance, each team has to draw a relatively accurate skeleton on the board and label each bone with the correct sticky note. Once again, the fastest team wins. The teacher may add more words and bones to this game for students in seventh to twelfth grades.
Another set of skeletal system games involves the teamwork of the entire class. Here, the teacher helps the students move the desks into a circle and spreads an old blanket out on the floor with a diagram of a human skeleton drawn on it. He or she then assigns each student a different bone. When called upon, each student must run and lie on the corresponding place on the diagram. If the student lies down in the wrong place, the other students may point him or her to the right spot.
This is a set of skeletal system games because it can be played different ways. Younger students may respond well to the teacher pointing at them and saying the name of a bone aloud. Older students should be able to read the names on slips of paper. This may also be done in teams, with each team assembling one half of the skeleton. The team that assembles its half the most accurately wins.
Most skeletal system games are matching games, but some are simply quizzes in disguise. For instance, the teacher could stand in front of the class and point to a bone on his or her body. The first student to identify it correctly gets a point. Different students could take turns standing at the front of the class and quizzing his or her classmates as well.