Kids, Giraffes, and Neck Bones

Everyone knows giraffes have longer necks than humans, but how do our neck bones compare to theirs? Learners examine a human vertebrae X-ray, counting the bones and predicting how many might be in a giraffe neck. They use a research site from the San Diego Zoo to learn some fun giraffe facts, including how long one giraffe neck bone is. Researchers compile their data in a graph comparing human and giraffe necks. 

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Instructional Ideas

  • Apply this process to other animals, predicting and researching how many vertebrae they have
Classroom Considerations

  • If you don't have Internet access for small groups, just project and analyze the research website as a whole class. It's simple, clear, and includes a video on giraffes

  • Cover several concepts in one short lesson, including basic skeletal structure analysis, predication, research skills, and graphing

  • None