Lesson Title: Bent Out of Joint!
Curriculum Area: Science
Technology Strand: Uses technology but does not address a technology strand
Grade Level: 3
Essential Question: What are the 3 main skeletal joints in our bodies, and how does each function?
A Activity Summary Through the use of visual displays in Microsoft PowerPoint, posters, and overheads, and hands-on exploration of common household items and/or toys, the students will be able to identify and describe the functions of 3 types of skeletal joints of the body in order to understand how their bodies move.
C Curriculum Science
4.03 Describe the functions of different types of joints:
  • hinge
  • ball and socket
  • gliding.
T Technology Uses technology but does not address a technology strand
Activating Strategies
Talking Drawings:
Give students 1 minute to close their eyes and think about the different ways the body moves. Then give students an additional 2 minutes to draw what they saw in their minds in the space below #1 on the "Talking Drawing" worksheet (see below). Once they are done with their drawings, students turn to their shoulder partners (who they sit next to) and share their drawings. Partners stand up back-to-back when they are finished as a signal for the teacher. Once the class is finished or the teacher calls time, students then share with the class what their partners drew to promote active listening. Get the students to spread out throughout the room and have students move their bodies in as many ways as they can while staying in place.
Technology Vocabulary: 
Detailed Technology Instructions:
Cognitive Teaching Strategies
1. Use the PowerPoint slide show or print the slides to be displayed on an overhead projector or for creating poster-sized displays. 
2. Bring common objects from home to allow for hands-on learning and making connections.  Objects I use include: 
  • a toy tractor and a cabinet hinge to demonstrate the hinge joint
  • a universal ball-and-socket ratchet wrench connector to demonstrate the ball-and-socket joint
  • two wooden blocks to demonstrate the gliding joints

3. Whatever method you use, be sure to be able to cover up the picture of the actual skeletal joint easily in order to prompt the students to guess the answers.  For example, refer to the picture of the hinge, as well as to the objects from home with hinged joints and ask, Which part of the body moves in a similar way? Uncover the picture of the hinge-joint and the bullet statements and, using the objects as well as the students using their bodies, demonstrate how and why the joints are hinged.  Repeat these steps for each of the joints. 

(You will need to teach the students how to insert a floppy disk, turn the camera on, zoom in and out, and preview the pictures before the next step.  They should also be given floppy disks on which to write their names.)

4. With shoulder partners, students take turns using the digital cameras  to take pictures of objects that they search for around the room that are examples of each of the types of joints - not counting the objects used for demonstration. Encourage hands-on use of these objects and encourage the students to use the definitions of the joints to determine what kind of joint the object uses. The following are examples of objects that can be laid around the room to be used for the partner search: 

  • Hinge Joints - hinges of the door, covers of books, toy tractors (dump truck, crane, loaders), folding chair, scissors, hole-puncher (single and 3-ring) 
  • Gliding joints - telescope, telescopic antenna, trombone slide, wheel connectors of a desk chair, toys 
  • Ball & Socket Joints - U-joint (from a car...if you know a mechanic!), camcorder tripod (camera mount), clasps (used in sewing), certain pipe fittings (if you know a plumber!), toys

5. Students will then go to the computer lab and sit next to their partners. Guide them on how to insert the pictures they took into Inspiration. After they open the program, have the students do the following:

  • insert their floppy disks into the appropriate drive
  • Click "Edit" from the menu bar
  • Click "Insert Graphic"
  • Click on the down arrow next to the box "Look in:" and select "3 1/2 Floppy (A:)"
  • Click on the picture file and then "Open"
  • Students will then need to eject the floppy disks and give them to their partners to repeat the process.

(The pictures usually appear very large, so you may need to show students how to shrink the pictures to fit in their organizers.  To do this, hold down the SHIFT key while simultaneously clicking and dragging the picture from the corner point.  This will keep the picture proportionate.) 

Then, students will create a graphic organizer on the 3 types of joints, using their pictures as well as definitions taught. Students will type the names of the 3 different joints in separate bubbles.  Then, they will create and link to each joint a bubble for the definition, bubbles for specific examples of the joints, and the picture that represents each type of joint. (See example).

Summary Strategies
1. Finish the 2nd part of the Talking Drawing sheet by having students answer question #2 with their partners and #3 individually. (Question # 2: Now that you have learned more about the way the body moves, draw a second picture to show what you have learned. Question #3: In the space below, tell what you have changed about your before-and-after pictures. Explain why you made those changes.

2. Pass out the Shaping Up Review worksheet. Use an overhead version to help guide students. 

Heart: students write one thing about joints that they loved learning. 

Square: students write four things that they feel are important concepts about joints. One concept should be placed in each corner. (Possible answers may include: Joints help us move, Joints are found all around us, Joints help other objects to move, There are 3 main joints that the body uses, etc.) 

Triangle: students write three different objects that use a different joint to function. One object should go in each corner.

Circle: students write one, all-encompassing (global, like the circle) statement that summarizes all of the important concepts and facts learned about joints. 

*To save time, if necessary, choose either the square OR the triangle and have students pick objects in the room that use a joint to function.*

For directions on how to download files choose: Mac (Kid Pix or Microsoft  Works), Windows (Kid Pix or Microsoft Works or Office), or Mac/PC (AppleWorks).
Examples of everyday items that represent the 3 main types of joints (see above in Cognitive section for ideas)
Microsoft PowerPoint and LCD projector or Averkey and TV
Overhead projector and printouts of PowerPoint slides

Internet Resources

Microsoft PowerPoint Files

Microsoft Word Files
Re-teaching and Enrichment Activities
This lesson connects with objective 4.04: describe how different kinds of joints allow movement and compare this to the movement of mechanical devices. The next lesson, then, ties together with this lesson. In the next lesson, the students do research on the internet, in magazines, etc. - on machines that use these three joints for movement and flexibility. Both of these lessons' findings would be used for the Inspiration project mentioned in the "Cognitive Teaching Strategies" above.

The concept for this lesson plan was submitted by

Kevin  McDonal

 Bessemer Elementary, Data last modified: 5/24/2005