There are only so many ways you can match animal skeletons to their outer bodies. I often find that over-planning/over-thinking can be your worst nightmare with teaching sequences like this. You can spend hours creating elaborate resources that never get beyond our screens. Pinterest – I believe – is totally changing the way that people plan. A unit of work or lesson based around a simple photograph or image, is bound to lend itself to more hands-on learning and away from the tractor beam pull of written outcomes.

Now I’m not the kind of guy knock out a flip-chart or powerpoint; in fact I’m in the ‘death by flip-chart’ camp. Twinkl however, have seduced me with a few this term so the session began with their useful PowerPoint creation and accompanying sorting activity. The main event was born of a cocktail of great weather, a smash-and-grab planning conversation and a Pinterest post of the human skeleton made of twigs. Like a rat up a drainpipe (see below!) we had our awe and wonder.

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Pupils were split into groups and given a ‘mystery’ x-ray or image of a different animal skeleton. Their challenge was to re-create this skeleton using sticks and twigs around our school grounds. The review saw groups moving between different works to try to identify each animal. It was more than hands-on learning; more than awe and wonder. Pupils were considering the size, position and purpose of every bone in their animal’s skeleton. Conversations were flowing and rich. We were able to take that precious back-seat and watch our kids learn.

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Frog skeleton: http://www.thunderboltkids.co.za/Grade5/01-life-and-living/chapter2.html

Horse skeleton: http://www.newrider.com/Starting_Out/The_Horse/skeleton.html