Skeletal System And External Body Development Of A Full Term Fetus

Joi Lewis


Grade level: 9th
Students will learn that growth of a full-term fetus' skeletal system and
external body parts become more detailed and distinct throughout the three
trimesters of pregnancy.

Materials needed:

(for a class of 25 students):

balloons paper cut-outs (Skeletal System
a picture frame and external Body Parts-eyes,
toy model car eyebrows, nose, and mouth)
handout (Fetal Development) index cards (5x8)
handout (outline of fetal body) scissors
illustration poster (Fetal Development) glue
miniature size skeleton


Optional: A toy model car and a picture frame used with key words support and
build can be used to introduce the lesson. A toy model car can represent the
Skeletal System and External Body Parts. A picture frame can represent the
Skeletal System.
Full-Term Fetal Development: Skeletal System and External Body Parts will
be presented to the class in the three trimesters (consist of approximately
three months each and feature descriptions will be given of each individual
month) of pregnancy.
Various Fetal Development handouts (process of conception and detailed
fetal development pregnancy months 1-9) and a Fetal Development illustration
poster will enhance the lesson.

Lab Activities:


1) The class will construct a model of the skeleton of a full-term fetus.
Provided are parts of the skeletal system of a fetus. You are to construct this
model on a picture of a full-term fetus.
2) The class will apply the following external body parts (eyes, eyebrows,
nose, and mouth) to a picture of a full-term fetus.


1) Each student will be given a balloon to place under their garment. This
activity will give each student an idea of how it feels and looks to be

2) Gestation (pregnancy) Trivia Game:
a) Three groups needed: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Trimesters.
b) Each group will be given an envelope containing three strips of paper for
three random months of a full-term pregnancy. Feature facts pertaining to the
Fetal Skeletal System and External Body Parts Development will be underlined for
each month.
c) Each group will write a total of five feature facts (pertaining to the
fetal skeletal system and external body parts) from each random month on the
index cards, and write the group name on the back of the index card.
d) Each group will select an index card from a trimester other than their
own. Each group will have one minute to correctly identify the correct the
month to which the feature fact belongs. If the group incorrectly answers the
question, the next trimester group has the opportunity to immediately answer.
Each group can gain one point for each correct answer. The group with the most
points after all the index cards have been selected wins the game.


The Facts of Life, Jonathan Miller and David Pelham, Viking Penguin Inc., 1984
A Child's World, Sally Wendkos Olds and Diane E. Papalia, Mc Graw - Hill Co.,
Biology, Neil A. Campbell, Benjamin/Cummings Inc., 1987
A Child is Born, Lennart Nilsson, Dell Co., Inc., 1977

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