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Muscle Types: Smooth and Skeletal Muscle Fibers

Study both smooth and skeletal muscles by looking at raw and cooked meat. You should be able to see the fascia and how skeletal muscle is comprised of bundled fibers whereas smooth muscle is not.


Questions Answered:

  • What are some characteristics of skeletal muscles? 
  • What are some characteristics of smooth muscles? 
  • How do smooth and skeletal muscles compare? 


Topics Addressed:

  • Skeletal muscle fibers differ from those of smooth muscle 
  • Skeletal muscle cells are long and fibrous 
  • Skeletal muscle cells are bundled together by fascia


Materials Needed

assorted cubes of meat (chicken, beef, calamari) cooked and uncooked, tray (optional)


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. 


Teaching Time 

About 20–30 minutes, longer with included writing assignment


Preparation Time

purchase meat; cook some


Target Audience

Middle School Students, Ages 11-14


Student Sheets

  • Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 
  • Diagrams for labeling

Muscle Types: Smooth and Skeletal Muscle Fibers


    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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