Science Medium Term Planning – Summer 1 ( year 4)

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Science Medium Term Planning – Summer 1 ( year 4)

Unit - 4A Moving and Growing



Learning Objectives Children learn:

Learning Outcomes





Bone Location

Review what children know about their skeleton by asking them what they think their bones look like. Suggest children explore what they can feel of their own bones eg

  • Where are the ribs?

  • Are they hard or soft?

  • How many ribs can we feel?

  • Where else can we feel bones?

Provide children with large sheets of paper. Ask them to work in groups to produce life size outlines of the human body, by drawing around one member of their group. Ask children to work in groups to draw onto the outline, all the bones they think are in the human body, as near to life size as possible.

Ask children to feel their ribs – How many do we have? Does everyone have the same number?Ask children to feel for other bones in their body – explain that some will be easier to feel as they are close to the surface of the skin.

Provide a miniature skeleton model and show children the bones they can feel. Do all animals have bones? What differences do you know about the bones of different types of animals? (size, number, backbone/no backbone etc.)

Provide a picture of a human skeleton and ask children to use art straws to cut and stick onto black sugar paper to show the bones inside the human body. Ask children to refer to the picture to check for relevant size. (For study books)

that humans (and some other animals) have bony skeletons inside their bodies and to raise questions about different bony skeletons

to make and record relevant observations of bones and skeletons

identify similar parts of the skeleton in some other species

list similarities eg they all have spines (or backbones) and skulls, and differences eg the cat's bones are much smaller than the human bones



Skull (cranium), collar bone (clavicle), shoulder blade (scapula), backbone (vertebrae), breastbone (sternum), hip bone (pelvis), thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), forearm (made up of radius and ulna), elbow (humerus), kneecap (patella).

Large sheets of paper.

Marker pens

Model skeleton

Pictures of skeleton

Art straws



Black sugar paper.


Parts of the Human skeleton

Use a model of a human skeleton to identify and name common bones in the body, (some children may be interested to know the scientific names for the bones):

Skull (cranium), collar bone (clavicle), shoulder blade (scapula), backbone (vertebrae), breastbone (sternum), hip bone (pelvis), thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), forearm (made up of radius and ulna), elbow (humerus), kneecap (patella).

Tell the children that there are 206 bones in the human body.

Discuss the way the bones feel on the model. Ask:

How does it feel?

Is it hard or soft?

Can you bend it?

Discuss the fact that although some bones are hard they can be brittle and some break easily. Has anyone broken any bones in their body?

What would happen if we had no bones?

What do different bones protect? Head – brain, rib cage-heart.

Discuss the fact that bones are hollow and contain a red material called marrow. Tell them the saying “Frozen to the marrow” meaning feeling cold right through to the bones.

Establish with the class that skeletons have three main functions:

To protect, support and help the body move.

Provide the children with a picture of a human skeleton and ask them to label the parts using the correct words.

HA – can use the scientific names too (but ensure they are familiar with the non scientific names first).

Ask children to answer the questions provided in full sentences.

LA –complete the sentences on the sheet.

to make observations and comparisons of relevant features
that the skeleton supports the body

describe the characteristics of bones as materials eg the bones are hard, strong and identify differences between bones from different animals eg the fishbones are much smaller and easier to break

locate and name some bones eg ribs, spine, skull

Skull (cranium), collar bone (clavicle), shoulder blade (scapula), backbone (vertebrae), breastbone (sternum), hip bone (pelvis), thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), forearm (made up of radius and ulna), elbow (humerus), kneecap (patella).

Model of human skeleton

Picture of human skeleton

Word bank of bone names


Skeletons of other animals

Discuss relative sizes of bones in people eg the forearm in children within the class and adults (teachers, parents, helpers) or children in other classes. Discuss how the size of parts of the body eg length of forearm, circumference of head changes as they grow.

Ask the children what the skeletons of other animals might look like.

e.g. What would a giraffe skeleton look like?

Give out sheets (Match skeletons to the animal) – work in pairs to match the animal to it’s skeleton.

Show powerpoint showing the skeletons of different animals:

(Animal skeletons – Shirley Sides)

Can children guess which animals the skeletons belong to?


How many ribs does the animal have?

How many bones are in the neck?

What length are the legs and why might this be?

How is the animal constructed in order to survive in its environment?
Discuss similarities and differences between the skeletons of different animals.
Discuss animals with skeletons which are internal like humans (vertebrates), animals with skeletons which are external (exo – skeletons) and animals with no backbone (invertebrates).

What are the main advantages of having an internal skeleton? (internal skeletons allow for growth, animals with external skeletons need to shed them and regularly grow new ones (insects).

Give sheet (Sort different skeleton types) and ask children to cut and stick the animals into the correct part of the table according to their skeleton.

If time load Educationcity:

Play Zoo Keeper – sorting animals into vertebrate and invertebrate.

that human skeletons are internal and grow as humans grow
that humans (and some other animals) have bony skeletons inside their bodies and to raise questions about different bony skeletons

state that their skeleton grows from birth to adulthood

identify similar parts of the skeleton in some other species

list similarities eg they all have spines (or backbones) and skulls, and differences eg the cat's bones are much smaller than the human bones

explain that all bodies need support, but that not all animals have an internal skeleton to do this







Exo skeleton

Powerpoint presentation of animal skeletons
Sheet with table of different skeletons
Pictures of animals with different skeletons

Extension work – sheet with animals and their skeletons to match



Remind the children of the three main purposes of the skeleton: Protection, Movement and support.Ask children to explore their own muscles moving eg in their arms and what this feels like. Ask children to feel what happens when they bend their arm and stretch it out again. What does it feel like? What is happening?

Explain muscle contraction as an active process and relaxation as being passive. Demonstrate movement by using models illustrating muscles and ask children to explain what the models show.

Point out that there are many different muscles in the leg and that they always occur in pairs – as one muscle contracts (gets shorter), the other relaxes (gets longer) enabling movement to take place.

In order for the bones to return to their original position, the opposite muscle must contract to pull the bones back into place.

Ask children to make a model arm muscle.

When the tube is long and thin it represents the relaxed muscle. If both ends are pushed together the muscle becomes short and fat and is contracted.

Write an explanation of how the muscle in the arm works and draw a simple diagram.

How do you think insects can move if they have an exoskeleton?

What do you think they need in order to move?

Tell children that in the case of insects, muscles are attached to the inside of the external skeleton, and where a joint occurs the skeleton is slightly softer in order for the joint to be able to move.

Extension – follow instructions to make an insects leg.

that animals with skeletons have muscles attached to the bones

that a muscle has to contract (shorten) to make a bone move

that muscles act in pairs

that when someone is exercising or moving fast, the muscles work hard

to make observations and comparisons relating to exercise and rest

explain that in order to move eg their arms and legs a muscle, attached to a bone, has to contract

relate this to other parts of their bodies eg the face (smiling and eating) and the back (bending and stretching)

explain that as one muscle relaxes another contracts and this results in movement

give descriptions showing they understand that their muscles work harder during exercise than when they are sitting still









Photocopiable for making arm muscle




Investigation – Do people with the longest legs jump the furthest and highest?

Ask children to suggest ideas about differences and help them to turn them into a form that can be investigated eg

    • Who has the longest arms, children or adults, boys or girls?

    • Are the adults' heads bigger than children's heads?

    • I think Year 6 children have longer arms than Year 4 children.

Discuss with children exactly how they make their measurements to make reliable comparisons and how they will present their results eg by making tables, bar charts or pictograms of the two categories. Talk with children about the bar charts asking them to describe what they show.

Organise the children into groups of 4 to investigate the question.


Is there a link between the height/length a person can jump and the length/width of their muscles?”

Allow children time to plan how they are going to collect their evidence. They will need to consider measuring leg length, muscle width and the length/height of the jumps.

Discuss how to make a fair test, predict outcomes and record results.

Carry out investigation, record results and then compare with other groups.

Ask: “Do children with the longest legs jump the furthest?”

Develop a scatter graph to show results of the class.

to identify a question and turn it into a form that can be tested making a prediction to decide precisely what body measurement to make, and to make it

to use bar charts or pictograms to present measurements

to say what the evidence shows and whether it supports the prediction

decide how to investigate the agreed question eg measure the forearm of 10 Year 4 children and 10 adults

make measurements to the nearest centimetre and describe what they did

construct bar charts or pictograms and make comparisons between them describing what they show eg adults usually have longer arms than children, there isn't much difference between the length of boys' and girls' arms and explaining whether the prediction is supported

Fair test



Repeat readings




Tape measures

Metre sticks


Graph paper

Mini SAT

Carry out assessment activity in order to assess children’s knowledge and understanding of moving and growing at the end of the unit.

Expected learning outcomes

Assessment test

(mini SAT’s)

Some children will not have made so much progress and will::

state that they have skeletons; describe some observable characteristics of bones and make measurements when investigating a question

Most children will:

describe the main functions of their skeleton; describe observable characteristics of bones; recognise that their skeletons grow as they grow; state that movement depends on both skeleton and muscles; identify a question to be investigated and how to collect and interpret reliable evidence in order to answer the question

Some children will have progressed further and will also:

state that when one muscle contracts another relaxes and make an evaluation of the extent to which the evidence collected to answer a question supports the prediction made

Mini SAT

Carry out assessment activity in order to assess children’s knowledge and understanding of forces at the end of the unit.
Carry out a ‘six minute science activity’.
Why doesn’t the straw work?
Provide the children in each table group with two drinking straws and two beakers of water. Prior to the lesson make a pinhole about 2cm from the end of one of the drinking straws.

Ask children to try to drink the water through the two straws and identify what happens.

Why can you not drink anything using the straw with a hole?

To recognize that the air pressure is greater on the surface of the liquid than in the mouth when the person sucks and the pressure difference causes the water to move up the straw against the force of gravity.

Can understand that the pressure

Can understand that the holes in the straw make the pressure in the person’s mouth and on the surface of the liquid about the same so it is very hard to drink through this straw.

Air pressure



straws with pin holes

cups of water

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