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Bones and Muscles and Nerves: Microscope Study

What do muscle, bone, and nerve cells look like under the microscope? What's unusual about skeletal muscle cells and how do they look different when viewed longitudinally versus cross-sectionally? Use a variety of purchased prepared slides to study these. 


Questions Answered:

  • How do bone cells look microscopically? 
  • How do muscle cells look microscopically and how do different types of muscle cells look different? 
  • How do nerves cells look microscopically?


Topics Addressed:

  • Bone cells have a characteristic microscopic shape 
  • Skeletal muscle cells are noteworthy for having multiple nuclei 
  • A single nerve cell can be many centimeters long


Materials Needed

prepared microscope slides of bones, muscles, and nerves; microscope


Preparation Time

order slides


Teaching Time 

About 20–30 minutes, longer with included writing assignment


Answer Key

Yes! Plus extensive teacher notes address the many questions that come up. You shouldn’t have to do outside research on this topic unless you want to. Specific charts and graphic organizers have keys. 


Target Audience

Middle School Students, Ages 11-14


Student Sheets

  • Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 
  • Diagrams for labeling


Bones and Muscles and Nerves: Microscope Study


    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


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    Terms of Use   Copyright © Carolyn Balch. All rights reserved by the author. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.

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