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Body Bits Week

Period: 3-10 May 2020

Welcome back and we hope you had a great time taking part in all the activities for Space Week!

This week we are going to be thinking about some of the most important parts of our bodies - bones and blood - and later in the week we are going to make some blood together.

We also have a guest contribution from a visiting STEM Ambassador who is going to talk about the building block of our bodies (genes - and those are not the ones that you wear).

At the end of the week we more fun activities involving food - so watch this space!

Warning: this week is going to get messy some days!



Bones In Your Body

Everyone is born with 300 bones, but some of them fuse together until you are an adult to reduce to 206.

Your bones are strong enough to support your weight but light enough to allow you to move around. They protect your internal organs which are quite delicate - and they store minerals such as calcium.

Bones In Your Ear!

Did you know that the smallest bone in your body is in your ear? It is called the Stapes and is in the middle ear and is shaped like a stirrup. (from a horse saddle).

There are 3 bones that make up the middle ear. The Malleus the Incus and the baby of the three the Stapes.

The Largest Bone In Your Body

Where do you think the largest bone in your body is?

Of course it is in your leg.

Your leg bones are the longest and the strongest bones in your body.

The weight of your upper body relies on them being really strong.

There are 4 bones in each leg.

There are three long bones:

  • Femur
  • Tibia
  • Fibula

and the kneecap which is called,

  • Patella

Skeletal System
How Many Bones Can You Name?

Draw A Skeleton

Let's see if we can draw our own skeleton. Work out which bones belong in which part of the body.

Think about the largest bone in your leg is it the top or the bottom?

Have a look at the worksheet and see how you get on.

You will need some help with this one.

Keep your skeleton as you are going to need it tomorrow to add some of your internal organs - or you can draw a new one.

Did You Know...?

There are two bones in your lower arm called the Radius and the Ulna.

Measure the distance between your wrist and your elbow now measure the length of your foot.

What did you find out?

Try this on someone else in your house - someone taller or smaller than you.

What did you find out?

Your Funny Bone

Did you know that our “funny bone” is not a bone at all but a nerve - that is why it feels a bit funny if you bump it on just the right spot - ouch it really tingles!

Draw A Skeleton Activity Worksheet
Draw A Skeleton (PDF)
Learn How To Draw Bones

How Do Bones Work?

Now watch this video to learn how bones work in your body and then sing along to the bone song in the second video! Don't forget that you can view these videos full screen too.

How Do Bones Work?
Sing-Along Kids: Dry Bones

That's all for today, however, we have fun activities involving food for the later part of the week...

Our Blood

Yesterday we were learning about our bones and today we are going to find out about our blood and how they work together.

Blood is essential for life and flows through our body circulating all the essential nutrients and oxygen we need to keep our bodies working. Take a look at the picture of the pathways our blood takes around our body.

Our blood is responsible for removing waste materials from the body. It travels through some of our internal organs, such as the lungs and the kidneys, filtering out all of the waste.

Blood also has a very important role to play in fighting infection. Our bones are filled with bone marrow which releases white blood cells and allows them to charge to the rescue and do a search and destroy function. They sometimes hang around in parts of our body just waiting until they are needed!

Our bodies are amazing machines, doing all this to keep us fit and healthy.

Where Does Blood Come From?

Watch the first few minutes of this Operation Ouch video and you may be quite surprised.

Blood and Cardiovascular System Video

So now you know that bone marrow produces our blood cells.

Make Your Own Blood!

Warning - today is going to get messy!

Make Your Own Blood!

When you cut yourself the blood is quite clearly bright red even although we know it starts as plasma - so let's make our version of blood with the different components we have heard about - this is the messy bit so you had better check with an adult that you can do this.

You will need a few things from the baking cupboard, or you might need to ask to have them added to the shopping list for when your family has the once a week trip to the shops. It's against the lockdown rules to pop out for extras so you might have to wait till the weekend to make your blood. Check the worksheet for what you need. How long after you add your "red blood cells" did the plasma turn red?

Did you know... that blood flows around your body at about 5 litres a minute? So it takes about 20 seconds to circulate the entire body! Count to 20 and imagine the blood running through your veins and organs - it's quite fast!

Now you have made your blood why not send us a photograph.

Send Your Photograph

Can you name the part of your blood from the image below?

Make Your Own Blood Worksheet Cover Worksheet (PDF)

Make Your Own Blood Sample


What Is In Your Body?

What about inside your body... our bones are protecting our internal organs - each one of these organs has an important role to play.

Cut out the shapes below or draw on the various organs on your body shape. We have added some images here to help you - do you have them all in the right place? There is a heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.

If you have cut out your organs, ask your family to have a go at putting them in the correct place too!


Body Outline
Select to Download Image


DNA and Genetics

Today we are very lucky to have a guest post from Susanna Riley who is PhD Student at Gram Hansen Laboratory, Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh.

Take a look at yourself in a mirror.

  • What colour eyes do you have?
  • Do you have freckles?
  • Is your hair straight, wavy, or curly?

Then think about your likes and dislikes.

  • What is your favourite animal?
  • Do you prefer reading a book or running races?

Now think if you know anyone who is exactly the same as you. There won’t be!

You are unique - there has never been, and never will be, anyone who looks, thinks, and behaves exactly like you. However, at the same time you might look very similar to people in your family.

  • Do you have the same colour hair?
  • Are you all right or left-handed?
  • Can you all roll your tongue?

These similarities or differences between you, your family, and every other human are determined by your genes (pronounced like “jeans”) and studied in a type of science known as genetics.

Everybody has thousands of genes, which are tiny molecules found inside you that contain the information needed to make you. You have genes that determine how you look, such as your hair colour, height, whether or not you have freckles, and much more. Half of your genes come from one biological parent and half come from your other parent. This means that you will have characteristics of both your parents, and, through them, characteristics of everyone else in your family (as your parent’s genes come from their parents, your grandparents). These physical characteristics are known as inherited traits. However, you are far more than just how you look. You also have many things that you have developed as you have grown up. These include things like your favourite food, whether you like cats or dogs, if you can play a musical instrument, and more. These traits are probably different from your brother’s or aunt’s or great-gran’s. This is because they are not determined by your genes, but are instead are learned. Therefore these are known as learned traits. Your combination of learned and inherited traits is what makes you special.

Complete the activity sheet to help you think about what kinds of traits are learned and which are inherited from your parents, and then what traits you share or are different to your family members and friends.

Extra Tasks

Genes are made of DNA. This DNA is in a helix structure which looks like a twisted ladder. The rungs of the ladder are 4 different molecules known as “bases”:

  • Adenine (A)
  • Guanine (G)
  • Cytosine (C)
  • Thymine (T)

This structure of DNA is the same for every living organism, from plants to fish to spiders, but the order of the bases along the ladder is unique to each person.

It’s similar to your phone number: all telephone numbers are made up of the same individual numbers but in a unique sequence that defines each phone.

You can make a model of this structure, and even extract DNA using household materials by following instructions found at:

More information can be found at:

Susanna Riley
Susanna Riley
PhD Student at Gram Hansen Laboratory, Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh

"I am currently in the second year of my PhD in Tissue Repair and Regeneration. This involves looking at the link between cancer and the body’s natural regenerative processes. Current cancer treatments like chemotherapy work by killing cancer cells, but they also kill cells that can regenerate. This results in the nasty side effects seen in chemotherapy - such as hair loss and reduced immune system function. Therefore, I am trying to work out how we can make better cancer treatments without these side effects by using gene editing. This alters genes associated with increased cancer risk, and lets me study what affect this has on regeneration."

Inherited and Learned Traits Worksheet Inherited Traits Worksheet


Food Technology

For the next 2 days you are going to be a scientist so you will need to get yourself organised!

When working in a real laboratory doing research or testing it is important that you have all the correct protective equipment such as goggles and gloves and a lab coat.

The correct equipment must be readily available for each of the tests or experiments being carried out, as quite often they are time sensitive and there is not time to go searching in the cupboard for a beaker or test tube.

Choose which of the activities you are going to try first and gather all the bits and pieces you need.

Clear a space in the kitchen or a table outside if you can and lay everything out that you need.

Read through the instructions carefully and let everyone in the house know you are concentrating on your experiments and would prefer not to be disturbed!

Note: We are giving you the next 2 days activities together just incase you need to add some items to the weekly shopping list.

Now let's get started!

Food Technology Experiments!

For the next 2 days you are going to be real scientists so you will need to get yourselves organised!

10. Mould Garden

Today we are going to build a mould garden!

Mould (sometimes spelt "mold") is a naturally occurring organism which plays a significant role in our Earth's ecosystem. They are an essential part of nature's ability to recycle material.

Mould reproduces by releasing tiny spores that float through the air, both indoors and outdoors. If the spores land on a surface with the right conditions (moisture and nutrients), mould will form.

There are thousands of different kinds of mould. Some moulds cause disease or food spoilage (as you will see when you watch the video below), however, you can use them to make some kinds of cheese.

Mould has good uses too, and many antibiotics are developed from natural anti-bacterial substance made by moulds.

We would love to see how your Mould Garden is coming along - please send us your photos each day as you record the results and we can follow your progress.

Upload Your Mould Garden Photograph

Once you have built your Mould Garden, watch the video below to see what might happen over the next few weeks.

omato Time-Lapse Mold Video
Reminder: Do not forget to keep your Mould Garden out of reach and do not forget to throw it away in the bin after the 2 weeks!

Friday's Food Technology Experiments

How did you get on yesterday? Are you ready for your next set of experiments? How about making some Ice Cream...

Ice Cream In A Bag Activity Worksheet
Ice Cream Worksheet (PDF)

Yum its Friday and time for a treat if you have worked hard at your school work - homemade ice cream and a movie tonight!
Density Rainbow Activity Worksheet
Rainbow Worksheet (PDF)

You need to have a really steady hand for this one - practice practice and see if you can master pouring the liquid slowly on the back of a spoon.
Cabbage Juice Activity Worksheet
Cabbage Worksheet (PDF)

We love this indicator experiment but you do need a red cabbage - if you cant get one with the weekly shop - save it for another day as you will have fun finding out about acids and alkalis!

Mould Garden Reminder!

We would love to see how your Mould Garden is coming along - please send us your photos each day as you record the results and we can follow your progress.

If you have built one yet don't worry you can do it today or over the weekend.

Reminder: Do not forget to keep your Mould Garden out of reach and do not forget to throw it away in the bin after the 2 weeks!

Upload Your Mould Garden Photograph

Mould Garden

Also see our other Home Learning Topics information and our Learning Resources.

If you have enjoyed these activities please share them with your friends and family.