CPD Workshops

Animal bones – secondary

by Fellowship Agency January 9, 2019

This activity was created as part of a Gratnells What’s In My Tray CPD workshop for secondary science teachers and technicians to support practical work and delivery of the curriculum. It can be carried out as a stand-alone activity for students or combined with other activities from the session to form a STEM carousel.

You will need (per team of 4):

  • 1 x Shallow Gratnells (F1) tray with lid
  • Black and white pictures of five different animal skeletons
  • 1 x Scissors
  • 1 x Laminator (optional)
  • 5 x A3 laminating pouches (optional)

This activity also works for individuals or smaller teams, just increase the amount of time allocated to complete it.

This activity can be repeated multiple times using the same equipment.


  • Print the black and white pictures of five different animal skeletons on to A3 paper.
  • Cut around the edge of each picture and then cut up each skeleton into its main parts (around five parts per animal works well). Laminate each part separately (optional). Trim around the laminated sections to give a neat finish.
  • Mix up the parts of all five animals, place them face down into the shallow Gratnells (F1) tray and put the lid on.

What to do:

  • Approach the tray and lift the lid.
  • The tray contains a mixture of animal bones. Working as a team, sort them out and identify the animals they belong to.
  • Write down the common names of the animals in alphabetical order.
  • 1 point per correctly identified animal.

Tidy up time:

Once the time allocated to complete the activity has ended, put all the animal bones back into the tray and put the lid on.


Animal 1 = Bird (Pelican)

Animal 2 = Dinosaur (Triceratops)

Animal 3 = Dog

Animal 4 = Frog

Animal 5 = Human

One point per correct answer. Bonus point for each if you said pelican or triceratops.

Answers do not have to be in alphabetical order to be awarded points, it just makes it easier to mark.

Other things to try…

  • For higher age and ability students, during the preparation stage, add further animal skeletons to the tray or cut the existing skeletons up into smaller parts i.e. making the jigsaws more difficult to put together. You could also swap in different, more irregular or less familiar, animals.
  • For lower age and ability students, place a different coloured small spot sticker on the back of each animal part before placing it into the tray i.e. all the bird parts have a yellow spot on the back, the human parts have a red spot on the back and so on. The students only need to work out how to piece the parts together and identify the animal rather than having to work out which animal they belong to.

Health & Safety

As with all Gratnells Learning Rooms What’s In My Tray activities, you should carry out your own risk assessment prior to undertaking any of the activities or demonstrations.