Use a bean bag animal to represent a body with no bones. In groups of four or five have the students work together to try to figure out how to make the bean bag animal stand on its own. If a student uses something to prop the bean bag, explain that the bean bag is not standing on its own. Have students explain why the animal keeps falling over. (It is too soft. There is nothing to hold it up.)
Tell the class, “You are all sitting up. What keeps you from falling over like the bean bag animal? (We have bones inside.) Have students demonstrate what they would look like if they had nothing inside to hold them up. After they collapse in their chairs, ask them to try to move around without using their bones.
Ask students to name some ways we use our bones and chart their responses. Have students feel their bones giving directions like: Feel your fingers and hand. Do you feel a few bones or a lot of bones? Touch the top and the back of your head. Now touch your chin as you move your jaw. Touch your chest. Can you feel your rib bones?
Next read a book such as The Skeleton Inside You by Philip Balestrino.
Ask the students what they learned and chart the student response. Using a model of a skeleton or transparency, name common bones and have the students point to where that bone is found on their own body.