How to Make a Skeletal System Model

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Things You'll Need

  • Toothpicks

  • Modeling clay

The bones inside the human body give muscles and tendons the support they need. When students learn about human anatomy, they typically study how the skeletal structure is arranged underneath the skin. One way to supplement your student's learning is to provide them with a hands-on project, such as creating a skeletal model, which will allow them to understand more clearly the structure of the skeleton.


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Step 1

Roll modeling clay into 12 balls. Make two balls about 1 inch in diameter, two balls about 1/2 inch in diameter, four balls about 1/4 inch in diameter, and four balls about 1/8 inch in diameter.


Step 2

Stick a toothpick into one of the 1-inch balls. This will be the skull and spine.

Step 3

Stick two toothpicks into opposite sides of a 1/4 inch ball. This will be one of the limbs. Repeat this process three more times to have a total of two arms and two legs.


Step 4

Stick the leg structures into the other 1-inch ball of clay, which will be the pelvis.

Step 5

Stick the spine toothpick into the pelvis.


Step 6

Press the 1/2-inch balls onto the spine toothpick about 1/4 inch down from the skull. These will be the shoulder blades.

Step 7

Stick the arm toothpicks into the shoulder blades.


Step 8

Stick a 1/8-inch ball of clay onto the end of each limb. These will be the wrist and ankle joints.

Step 9

Cut 10 toothpicks in half.


Step 10

Stick five toothpick halves into each wrist and ankle joint, then display your skeleton model.