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Just got a message from the System Attendant saying my message was deleted
because of dirty words, and when I looked at it again, a typo has changed
the word 'count' into something a little different (yet it passed thru the

So here is the message again, with the offending word fixed!

The song is Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones" It's a traditional Negro
spiritual so you find it in a lot of sources.

There are hundreds of activities, and it really is a favourite subject with
littlies. I wrote a poem for my book Maths About Me called Just a Bag of
Bones which challenges the children to estimate then count the number of
bones in their body.

14 bones make up my face
8 others surround an empty space
No! No! They protect my brain.
Now where was I? Let's start again.

22 bones under my hair
3 more in each shell-pink ear
The hyoid bone is in my throat.
Who knew that? Let's make a note.

26 bones I have in my spine
24 ribs (that's 12 pairs) in this chest of mine
My sternum keeps them all apart
And they protect my lungs and heart.

4 bones in my shoulders, front and back
3 in each arm - it's muscles I lack
8 little bones in each of my wrists
5 in each palm - how's our lists?

28 bones in my fingers and thumbs
That's 144 already! Crumbs!
1 bone in each hip and 1 in each thigh
And 1 in each kneecap, my oh my!

Tibia and fibula in each leg
(I'm glad one isn't a wooden peg!)
Each ankle has 7 more bones
Sprain them, twist them, hear the groans.

10 more bones in the balls of my feet
And 28 in my toes, so neat.
"How many bones is that?" you ask.
Why, add them up and complete the task!

If the kids don't suggest their own questions to investigate, you could
Why do we need a skeleton?
Why are the bones different sizes and shapes?
Which are the shortest / longest?
Does the tallest person have the longest legs?
Do animals have the same sorts of skeletons as we do?
How does an elephant's skeleton differ from that of a giraffe?
What adaptations does a bird's skeleton have so that it can fly?
How can a snake slither?
What are bones made of?
How are they joined?
What can we do to make sure we have healthy bones?
How do they heal when we break them (unless you are like me and they don't
heal ever!)
How do bones help scientists find out about people and creatures of
centuries ago?

I hope this helps you get started!


Barbara Braxton
Teacher Librarian
Palmerston District Primary School

T. 02 6205 6162
F. 02 6205 7242
E. barbara@dynamite.com.au
W. http://www.palmdps.act.edu.au
"Together, we learn from each other."

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