Challenge Three

Bones: Further Inquiries

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Bones can lead to an enormous number of inquiries involving other subjects. It is actually an easy topic to use to stimulate students to generate questions that they can answer by doing experiments or using different sources of information. Many of the answers to the questions listed below can be demonstrated with student made models. Students can use books, the internet or have an interchange with a medical specialist whose practice involves the different parts of the human skeleton. Pediatric specialists, orthopedic surgeons, geriatric specialists, endocrinologists, podiatrists are all medical professionals dealing with some aspect of bone development and maintenance. They may be a good source of information.

Ask your students to generate questions about bones. Record their questions and try to figure out with the students the best way to find the answers. It can be a project conducted by the entire class, done in small groups or done individually. It can be done in school or at home. Some students may develop their inquiries into a science fair or individual study project.

Some questions are listed as examples or as actual inquires for investigation.

  • What are the functions of bones?
  • How do bones get their strength?
  • What is the chemical composition of bone? Are you getting those chemicals in the food you eat?
  • Why don’t babies break their “bones” easily when they fall?
  • How does your diet, amount of sleep and physical exercise affect your bone development?
  • What foods contribute to strong bones? Does your daily diet promote bone growth?
  • What affect does smoking and excessive drinking have on adult bone strength?
  • What role does genetics play in determining your height or bone size?
  • Why do bones break?
  • What is a fracture? simple fracture? compound fracture?
  • How are fractures fixed?
  • Why must broken bones be set?
  • How long does it take for a bone to heal?
  • Do all bones heal in the same amount of time?
  • How strong are broken bones after they have healed?
  • Why do older people fracture bones easily?
  • What is osteoporosis and how can it be prevented or slowed down?
  • How is it treated? Is exercise helpful? Is the type of exercise important?
  • What are the physical traits of people who break bones easily?
  • Can you tell how a person worked by his or her skeleton?


©2010 Elinor W. Semel   All rights reserved.