Joints: Bend and Move!

Our skeletons make us strong and help protect our soft tissue, but how can we move with these solid bones inside us? The answer is joints. A joint is a junction between two or more bones. Our body is made up of over 300 joints!

There are two videos to choose from to learn about joints.

The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!

You may see a number of other videos that are a deeper dive into things you might be interested in. Feel free to watch as many of those as you like. Then choose some activities and/or a project. 

High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects in the Projects section. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to test your understanding by taking the quiz.

Take A Deeper Dive!

For more details on types and composition of joints.

Why do your knuckles pop?

Crash Course Anatomy and Physiology video #20 on Joints

Activities

Make a Model of a Gliding Joint

There are gliding joints in our wrists, ankles, and between our vertebrae. Follow along with this video to make a model of a gliding joint, using the following supplies:

  • Two paper cups
  • Cardboard
  • Rubber band
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Glue

Save your model joint to your portfolio.

Make a Model of a Hinge Joint

We have hinge joints in our elbows and knees, as well as other parts of our body. Explore how a hinge joint works by making a cardboard model.

You will need two toilet paper rolls, scissors, and tape or glue.

Save a photo or video of your project to your portfolio.

Make a Model of a Spine

Imagine your spine was one long, solid bone, like your femur. How would we bend and move? How does our back bone protect the important spinal cord while still allowing flexibility? The joints between vertebrae in your spine are a special kind of synovial joint called a facet joint. 

Make a model of a spine to explore how the vertebral column protects and moves. 

You will need:

  • A cardboard egg carton
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Follow along in the video to make your own model.

You can even add felt circles between each vertebra to model the intervertebral discs. 

Save a picture to your portfolio.

Project

Label Synovial Joints on a Skeleton Diagram

Print out this skeleton diagram from coloringhome.com. Watch the video on the different types of synovial joints. Now, circle and label some examples on your skeleton. For example, circle the knee joint and label it “knee – hinge”. You can use a different colour for each type of joint. 

See if you can find and label examples of each different type of synovial joint.

  • Hinge
  • Pivot
  • Ball and socket
  • Saddle
  • Condyloid
  • Gliding 

 Save your labelled diagram to your portfolio.

Advanced Project(s)

Choose at least one.

Make a Clay Model of a Knee Joint

This video shows you how to make a more complicated model of a hinge knee joint, using clay and elastic bands.

You will need clay of several colours, zip ties, and elastic bands. 

Click here for more information from teachmeanatomy.info and diagrams of the ligaments in the knee joint. 

Save a photo or video of your knee joint to your portfolio.

Model the Stress of Deep Knee Bends

Make a mechanical model of the knee joint and measure the stress of deep knee bends. Follow along here for the background of this project, the list of materials, and instructions  from www.sciencebuddies.org

Save photos or a video of your results to your portfolio.

Books

Read Aloud Book(s)

Bend and Stretch Read Aloud

The Skeleton Inside You Read Aloud

NOw Let’s Have some fun!