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Bones and Muscles: How They Work Together, a Hands-On Lab

How do our muscles produce extension and flexion? This is especially interesting when you realize that muscles can only pull, they cannot push. Understanding that muscles come in pairs is a key concept when understanding a muscular system. 


Questions Answered:

  • How do muscles produce extension and flexion? 
  • Why do muscles come in pairs?


Topics Addressed:

  • Muscles can only pull, they cannot push 
  • Muscles come in pairs 
  • Tendons connect muscles to bones 
  • Ligaments connect bones to bones 
  • Contracting muscles may either flex or extend limbs


Materials Needed

2 rulers with holes, string, brad (paper fastener), paperclips


Preparation Time



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: How They Work Together, a Hands-On Lab


    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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